Challenging the Past

Elizabeth Cowling, Susan Grace Galassi, Christopher Riopelle, Anne Robbins, Neil Cox, and Simonetta Fraquelli

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From his earliest years Pablo Picasso was a passionate student of the European painting tradition. He was naturally drawn to the Spanish masters Velázquez and Goya, but such figures as Rembrandt, Delacroix, Ingres, Manet, and Cézanne were also important artistic heroes. Picasso repeatedly pitted himself against these masters, taking up their signature themes, techniques, and artistic concerns in audacious paintings of his own. Sometimes his “quotations” were direct, other times highly allusive. Always Picasso made the implicit case that it was he in the 20th century who most forcefully reinvigorated the European tradition.

Liberally illustrated with 150 full-color plates of works by Picasso and those who inspired him, the book showcases the technical dexterity, independence, and vitality of Picasso’s creative processes as he daringly transformed the art of the past into, as he described it, “something else entirely."

Elizabeth Cowling is Professor Emeritus of History of Art at Edinburgh University. Her publications include Picasso: Style and Meaning and Degas/Picasso (distributed by Yale). Susan Grace Galassi is senior curator at the Frick Collection, New York. She is the author of Picasso’s Variations on the Masters. Christopher Riopelle is curator of post-1800 painting at the National Gallery, London. He is co-author of Renoir Landscapes: 1865-1883 (distributed by Yale), among many other books. Anne Robbins is assistant curator of post-1800 painting at the National Gallery, London, and the author of Cézanne in Britain (distributed by Yale).


National Gallery, London (2/25/09–6/7/09)

“The essays in this fascinating study showcase the technical dexterity, independence, and vitality of Picasso’s creative processes…” - Good Book Guide
ISBN: 9781857094527
Publication Date: May 12, 2009
Publishing Partner: Published by National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press
176 pages, 8 3/4 x 10 3/4'
166 color illus.
A Brush With Nature

The Gere Collection of Landscape Oil Sketches
Revised Edition

Christopher Riopelle and Xavier Bray; with an essay by Char

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Goya's Last Works

Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi

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Cézanne in Britain

Anne Robbins; With an introductory essay by Ann Dumas and c

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Manet to Picasso

The National Gallery

Christopher Riopelle; With Charlotte Appleyard, Sarah Herri

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Picasso Looks at Degas

Elizabeth Cowling and Richard Kendall; With contributions b

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Neo-Impressionism and the Dream of Realities

Painting, Poetry, Music

Cornelia Homburg; With contributions by Paul Smith and Laur

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