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Creator Name: Picasso, Pablo
Creator Nationality: European; Iberian; Spanish
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1881 - 1973
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Pablo Picasso
Title: Life
Title Type: alternate
Title: La Vie
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1903
Creation End Date: 1903
Creation Date: 1903
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Unframed: 196.5cm x 129.2cm
Inscriptions: Signed upper left: "Picasso"
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1945.24
Credit Line: Gift of the Hanna Fund
Copyright: ? Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Context: Painted in Barcelona, "La Vie" is among the largest and most important paintings of Picasso's Blue Period (1901-1904). Set in an artist's studio, the scene suggests themes of misery and human desolation, expressed not only in the gestures and expressions of the figures, but also in its cold, blue tones. X-rays of this painting reveal that the man at the left was originally a self-portrait; however, Picasso later repainted the face and replaced his own features with those of Carlos Casagemas, a friend who had committed suicide after being rejected by a lover. The nude figures depicted on the two canvases poised between the three main figures, as well as the painting's overall composition and ambiguous symbolism, recall the Tahitian paintings of Paul Gauguin. Although this painting has been studied extensively, its meaning remains a mystery.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1945.24
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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