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Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 @ The Courtauld Gallery

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Picasso's Early Paintings: from Paris to the Courtauld
1901 was the year when the nineteen-year-old Pablo Picasso's first exhibition was held in Paris. This seminal phase in his career was also when he launched what is now known as his Blue period, a series of gloomy paintings partly influenced by the suicide of a close friend. These works are mainly characterised by the painter's monochromatic use of blue and blue-green. This exhibition is also a demonstration of his urge to engage with and reconceive the styles of other modern painters, such as Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

Dwarf Dancer
Dwarf Dancer by Picasso

Degas: Two Dancers on a Stage
Degas: Two Dancers on a Stage

If you've found Picasso too difficult to understand because you thought his work consisted of Cubism, Surrealism and African influences, give Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 a chance. You may find these earlier paintings easier on the eye and far less demanding. If you find yourself inspired to learn even more, there are also talks, tours and study days.

Picasso: Leaning Harlequin
Picasso: Leaning Harlequin
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Why? To see some early Picasso works
When: From 14 February until 26 May, daily between 10.00 and 18.00
Where: The Courtauld Gallery
Cost: 6 plus concessions
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