Cubism and Picasso

Pablo Picasso, Frau vor dem Spiegel, 1937, Öl auf Leinwand, 130 x 195 cm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Wesfalen, © Sucession Picasso/ VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010

Among major work ensembles devoted to individual artists is one consisting of 12 works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) which encompasses nearly all of this artist's major creative periods. In its own way, each of these works represents a highpoint of the collection, and each underscores the heterogeneity of Picasso's oeuvre, his delight in stylistic experimentation, and the inexhaustible inventiveness of his fantasy-driven art.

Especially noteworthy is his Portrait de Fernande (1909) from the Cubist period; the steep vertical format of Fenêtre ouverte (1919), with its free style and paraphrases of Cubism; and the monumental depiction of two nudes in Deux femmes nues assises (1920). Other major works in this ensemble include the painting Femme au miroir (Femme accroupie) (1937), with its serene yet melancholic atmosphere, and the regal image of Jacqueline in Grand profil (1963), an undisputed masterwork from Picasso's final creative phase.

Thematic foci within the cubist collection of the Kunstsammlung are the works of Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, and Georges Braque, among other artists. Braque’s Nature morte, harpe et violon (1911) is an outstanding example of the “analytical” phase of Cubism, and was among the initial purchases by a then still young Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in 1962.