Pablo Picasso masterpiece against the war (Guernica) reproduced by kids in colourful drawings… This is one of the winning projects for Italian schools contest “Remembering Kefalonia, Planning the Peace” launched by Okay! magazine. Drawings created by pupils of Primary Scool, in Carenno (Lecco) Italy; Soundtrack: “Flamenco Rumba Session” by Eylon Malhi (Tel Aviv, Istrael). Videoclip by Roberto Alborghetti.

Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. We wish to all these kids to remain artists, forever and ever…






“When art historian Jean Leymarie was preparing a talk for a symposium on art and sexuality, he asked his friend Pablo Picasso where he drew the line between these two concepts. The painter replied, ‘They are the same thing, because art can only be erotic.’ It is impossible to understand Picasso’s art if, from prudishness, we brush aside the physiological realities of his rich sexual experiences. They are the launching pad of his creative energy. For Picasso, painting and making love derived from the same act. His enjoyment as a man promoted the power of the work by stimulating him. To dismiss sex is to exclude oneself from the land of the living. Sex and death are two relinquishments, but whereas one is a last farewell to life, the other is life itself and is perpetuated through its descendants.”

From adolescence through old age, Picasso’s two great passions were women and art, and these came together in his erotic works. The most famous of these is his monumentally important painting of 1907, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (collection MoMA) which is viewed by most art historians as the prototypical modern painting. But of all of Picasso’s multitudinous erotic adventures in various media, the etchings are by far his most important body of work. Each is highly charged with the unbridled life force that infused all of his best works, erotic and otherwise. The range of emotion and sensation is tremendous, communicated not merely through narrative imagery but more fundamentally in lines, textures and shapes that embrace the lust, grace, pathos and humor of uncensored human sexuality.

These works are registered with the Picasso Archives in Paris and bear the oval stamp and inventory number of the Marina Picasso Collection on verso, she being a granddaughter and successor in direct ownership under the aegis of the Picasso estate. Each of these prints bears the Picasso atelier signature and pencil annotation, “epreuve avant acierage” (translation: proof before steel facing). They were stored unframed since their creation until acquired by Leslie Sacks Fine Art, and are therefore in pristine condition. These prints are early proofs, pulled before steel facing of the plates, and are therefore richer in contrast than the regular edition, and only three or five examples of each proof were printed. They were originally part of Picasso’s personal collection. Master printers Aldo and Piero Crommelynck pulled these proofs. Examples are in the permanent collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale and Musée Picasso, Paris, the Museo Picasso, Barcelona, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago and other notable print collections around the world.


* Excerpts from Picasso: Art Can Only Be Erotic, by Diana Widmaier Picasso, Prestel Publishing, 2005.


* Leslie Sacks Fine Art, 11640 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049


* Leslie Sacks Contemporary, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue B6, Santa Monica, CA 90404




Pablo Picasso , “Portrait of a Lady,”

1928. Gouache, ink, and collage on

paper.  © Louvre Abu Dhabi.


 Pablo Picasso’s never before exhibited work Portrait of a Lady is one of the artworks in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection and included in the “Birth of a Museum” exhibition. The papier collé, a type of collage using glued paper cut-outs is, according to the hypothesis of John Richardson, a portrait of famous socialite and fashion muse Natalie Paley, granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and wife of the couturier Lucien Lelong. A renowned model in her day, she was well-connected in fashionable Parisian circles. Picasso may have used photographs as a source, as he did for many other portraits, to capture her oval face, fine features, and slim silhouette.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will open its next exhibition on April 22, 2013 on Saadiyat Island showcasing important works of art from the Louvre Abu Dhabi permanent collection, some of which have never been seen or revealed before.

Born of an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display art, manuscripts and objects of historical, cultural and sociological significance. The museum and its growing permanent collection is owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Spanning millennia, the items on display will originate from societies and cultures all over the world, but universal themes and common influences will be highlighted to illustrate similarities arising from shared human experience transcending geography, nationality and history.

Like the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the exhibition proposes a singular and original rereading of the history of art and is built around several key artistic and aesthetic questions core to the identity of the new museum: universalism, the comparison between art works from great civilisations from the most ancient times to the contemporary and the multidisciplinary nature of artistic creation. It will also explore the status of the work of art, through universal themes in the exhibition such as questions of the Figure and the Sacred.


Commenting on the latest milestone for the Saadiyat Cultural District, HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said: “The aim of this exhibition is to evoke the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ambiance and aesthetics, and to begin to tell the story of the birth of this museum. The whole exhibition experience is another chance for visitors from the United Arab Emirates and abroad, to see the remarkable art works in the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s permanent collection as we prepare for the museum’s opening. Even before opening its doors, Louvre Abu Dhabi is setting its precedent as a place of cross-cultural dialogue and exchange.”

Artworks include one of the finest examples of a standing Bactrian Princess from the end of the 3rd millennium BCE; a Middle-Eastern gold bracelet with a lion’s head approximately 3000 years-old; a painting titled The Good Samaritan by Jacob Jordaens, one of the major Flemish painters from the 17th century and a painting by Oman Hemdy Bey from 1878, titled A Young Emir Studying; a selection of the James Ivory miniature collection includes fine examples of the chivalry ideals of the Rajputs schools depicted and an evolving dialogue between East and West culminates at the end of the exhibition in a cycle of nine canvases by contemporary artist Cy Twombly.

As with all exhibitions organised in preparation for the museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, it will be supported by a diverse Cultural Programme of talks, tours and workshops and a book detailing a significant part of the collection acquired to date will also be published and launched in April.

Henri Loyrette, President-Director of the Louvre Museum, said: “This exhibition is a major milestone in the realisation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in so far as it unveils the admirable and high quality of the art works that will reflect the heart of the future Museum’s permanent collection. Moreover, this exhibition will embody remarkably the essence of the forthcoming birth of this universal museum. The exhibition will travel from Abu Dhabi to Paris to be presented at the Louvre in Paris in October 2013.”

The general curator of the exhibition is Laurence des Cars, Curatorial Director of Agence France-Muséums (AFM), who is supported by a TCA Abu Dhabi and AFM team of diversified skill sets. Museography is done by architect Jean-François Bodin. Construction of the iconic building designed by Jean Nouvel has begun on Saadiyat Island and the Museography design is in progress.




The heirs of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy – a prominent Berlin Banker of Jewish descent who suffered Nazi persecution – announce that they have filed suit against the German State of Bavaria in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to recover an iconic oil painting by Pablo Picasso, entitled Madame Soler (1903) from the artist’s “blue period.” (See Julius H. Schoeps, et al. v. State of Bavaria, 1:13-cv-02048-UA.)

The Mendelssohn heirs base their claim upon well-developed historical facts, the bona fides of which the federal court in Manhattan credited several years ago in a closely related case. (See Julius H. Schoeps, et al. v. Museum of Modern Art, 594 F. Supp.2d 461, 466 – S.D.N.Y. 2009).

1. Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s loss of Madame Soler due to Nazi persecution

The Nazis took power in Germany on January 31, 1933 with a transparent agenda to exclude Jews – and Jewish banks and bankers especially – from the economy of Germany and to compel them to forfeit their property. Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was an immediate target of the Nazi regime given his prominence, wealth and social standing. The Mendelssohns were Germany’s most prominent Jewish family. The famous composer Felix Mendelssohn was a family member, as was Enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn & Co. bank, established in 1795, was one of the five largest private banks in Germany.

By October 1934, Nazi policies and predation had obliterated the value of Mendelssohn-Barthtoldy’s 22% equity interest in Mendelssohn & Co., causing his income to plummet from about 430,270 RM in 1932 (the year before the Nazis took power in January 1933) to only 59,374 RM in 1934. So in less than two years Nazi policies had diminished Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s income by a staggering 86%. In 1934, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s annual alimony expense alone more than doubled his diminished income. By negating the value of Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s primary asset, Nazi policies and pressure compelled him to seek liquidity from alternative sources.

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s superlative private art collection, established over many years beginning in the early 1900’s, was one of his most significant assets and represented the only source of liquidity available to him to respond to his escalating negative cash flow deficit. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s collection was comprised of about 60 master works by luminaries such as Picasso, van Gogh, Braque, Monet and Renoir, among others.

Between September 1933 and February 1934, Nazi persecution compelled Mendelssohn-Bartholdy to sell or consign some 16 of these master works – including Madame Soler – having never even attempted to sell a single major artwork in the previous 25 years. The Mendelssohn heirs maintain that the loss of Madame Soler represented a signal milestone along a path that Nazi authorities meticulously engineered to marginalize Jews and deprive them of their property which facilitated later mass genocide.

2. Bavaria’s 1964 purchase of Madame Soler in New York

In 1964, the Bavarian State Paintings Collection (“BSPC”) purchased Madame Soler in New York City from art dealer Justin Thannhauser who had taken possession from Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in 1934. Former Nazi party member and the incoming director of the BSPC Halldor Soehner represented Bavaria in the purchase. Even though Soehner knew that Mendelssohn-Bartholdy had owned Madame Soler – and was expressly aware of the painting’s “Jewish Provenance” – he failed to ask Thannhauser the reasonable questions that the circumstances demanded: From whom did Thannhauser acquire Madame Soler? When did Thannhauser acquire it? What, if anything, did Thannhauser pay for it?

3. Bavaria’s current refusal to restitute Madame Soler, or even to apply to this claim its own prescribed criteria for Holocaust era restitution cases

In 2009, the Mendelssohn heirs sought restitution from the BSPC for Madame Soler. Notwithstanding its awareness of the clear evidence of a forced transfer from Mendelssohn-Bartholdy set forth above, the BSPC refused the exhaustively documented claim of the Mendelssohn heirs to return Madame Soler. Moreover, the BSPC failed to apply to this claim the criteria that it and other German states had specifically prescribed to resolve such controversies and which were expressed in a Common Statement as well as related Guidelines. In addition, the BSPC refused the request of the Mendelssohn heirs to submit their claim to the German Limbach Commission, which the German federal government and its constituent states established specifically to hear claims for the recovery of Nazi era artworks and to decide these claims in a non-binding, equitable and fair manner. Accordingly, the BSPC gave the Mendelssohn heirs no option but to file suit in New York to reclaim the painting.



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The Department of Culture, Fashion and Design of the Municipality of Milan, Palazzo Reale and 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE with the Musée National Picasso are pleased to present the great return of Picasso to Milan with a retrospective exhibition realized thanks to the support of Gruppo Unipol. The exhibition will open 20 September 2012 at the Palazzo Reale: “Pablo Picasso. Masterpieces from the National Picasso Museum in Paris”.

Milan is hosting Pablo Picasso’s brilliant and fundamental work for the third time, following the major exhibitions in 1953 and 2001. These two shows coincided with crucial periods both in international politics and everyday life in Milan. And they left their mark – Head of Culture Stefano Boeri emphasizes –  but we do not yet know whether this appointment with Picasso will be another appointment with history for Milan. We do know that organizing this meeting between a major city and the brilliant precursor of contemporary art provided opportunities to reflect on history – as confirmed by the rooms in Palazzo Reale devoted to the preparation of the 1953 exhibition. This show is a tribute to Picasso, to Milan and to the coincidences – never completely accidental – that have characterized the life of a leading interpreter of modern times.”

The exhibition was curated by Anne Baldassari, internationally recognized as one of the most important Picasso scholars and the curator of the Musée National Picasso in Paris, which houses the world’s largest collection of works by the Spanish artist.

With more than two-hundred-fifty works – many of which have not left the Paris museum prior to this global exhibition, for which Milan is the only European venue – including paintings, sculpture, photographs, drawings, illustrated books and prints, the exhibition is a veritable chronological excursus through Picasso’s artistic production, allowing comparison of the techniques and expressive means with which the artist challenged himself over his long career.

Through the unique and exceptional collection of the National Picasso Museum in Paris, the Milan retrospective presents, among the many masterpieces, works that allow the visitor to travel over the history of art through the evolution of the artistic language of this undisputed twentieth-century master, enjoying masterpieces like “The Celestina” (1904), “Man with a mandolin” (1911), “Portrait of Olga” (1918), “Two women running on the beach” (1922), “Paul as Harlequin” (1924), “Portrait of Dora Maar” and “The Supplicant” (1937).


As the curator explains in the catalogue, “The collection of the Musée Picasso thus represents Picasso’s work in progress, his surprises, his leaps forward and his regrets, his meanderings and his retreats. Through it one can observe paintings that become sculpture and vice versa in the invention of intermediate dimensions: painting without a background or contours, flat panels like icons, carved wooden pieces illuminated with colour, the optical tricks of collés, tableaux-reliefs and flat constructions, hollow, open, perforated sculptures, filiform spatial graphic works, paintings in the round, models made out of folded paper, plate sheets that have been cut and opened out into space. Even the drawings, the pages of sketchbooks and the engravings converse in a continuous to and fro, to reconstruct the iconographic logic of a narrative that explores all of the possibilities, almost reaching the myth of the birth of images: here one gathers the minute reasons for sequences that go from the identical to the multiple through the intermediate stages that describe, to thousands, this mythographic gesture”.

Picasso is the unquestioned leader of twentieth-century art and embodied its turbulent, innovative spirit.  Born in the Spanish city of Malaga in 1881, after studying art in Barcelona, where he was enrolled in the School of Fine Arts at the young age of thirteen, and in Madrid, he made his first trip to Paris in 1900, the city where art and culture would influence him so enormously as to leave their mark in all of his work. At the time of his death, in Mougins in the south of France in 1973, he had produced more than 50,000 works using diverse languages and artistic means, in a stream of epochal turns and stylistic changes, astonishing testimonies to the private life, civil and political engagement and recherche of an inexhaustible artist.

Within the exhibition – designed by Italo Lupi with Ico Migliore and Mara Servetto and covering more than 2000 square metres on the upper floor of the Palazzo Reale – there will also be documentation of the exhibition that Picasso held in 1953, also at the Palazzo Reale, where the great canvas “Guernica” (1937) was shown in Italy for the first time, in the Sala delle Cariatidi.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, with texts by Anne Baldassari, Isabelle Limousin, Virginie Perdrisot, Francesco Poli, Pablo Rossi e Annabelle Ténèze, is published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE. The catalogue accompanying the exhibition was published by 24 ORE Cultura – Gruppo 24 ORE.

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