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Doctoral thesis about Pablo Picasso: portrait and self-portrait

There are many publications that have talked about Picasso, his artistic trajectory, his works, hisfriends, his pictorial styles, but as often happens with such multifaceted artists, there will always be something unsaid about Picasso and there are always fields to research and things to learn.

Autoretrat Picasso

Self-portrait. Pablo Picasso. Barcelona, 1899-1900. Charcoal and white crayon on paper. 22.5×16.5cm. MPB 110.632

From the museum we would like to contribute to the production of knowledge about the artist by participating in studies about art, as is the case of the University Master’s Degree in Research in Art and Design, and in the assessment of university students, from master’s, postgraduate and doctorate courses.

Often students develop doctoral theses that in the future can become books of reference about the artist and his work.  As follows, we highlight a doctoral thesis which talks about the portraits and self-portraits of various artists, among them Picasso. We have in the museum a large number of self-portraits by Picasso and in the exhibition of 2013 “Yo Picasso. Self-portraits”, the first major monographic exhibition held about Picasso’s self-portraits, we took an in-depth look at the topic of the portrait and the self-representation of the artist from his childhood until the last days of his life.

The contemporary portrait and self-portrait in the footsteps of Durero, Rembrandt and Goya: Picasso, Bacon, Warhol, Freud, Richter and Close in the public light; relations, comparisons, analysis and criticism.
Authorship: Westendorp Giroldi, Connie Elisabeth
Management: Jiménez Martín, Carlos
Centre: Universidad de Granada, Department of Painting
Year: 2012
Consult online

This thesis has as its starting point the genre of portrait, focussing on why the portrait as a genre continues to be current, for what reason the portrait of major painters continues to be interesting and why the message of the faces is maintained in today’s painting, beyond the interest in the genre. The artists chosen for the study have been organized in three chronological groups: Durero, Rembrandt and Goya; Picasso, Bacon and Warhol; Freud, Richter and Close.  In this way, the thesis is based around five large blocks:

Block 1: Generalities about portraits and self-portraits. Definitions, history and types
Block 2: The portraits by Durero, Rembrandt and Goya and their historical and artistic context
Block 3: Contemporary portraits and self-portraits. The portrait painter in Picasso, Bacon and Warhol and in Freud, Richter and Close
Block 4: Relations, comparisons, analysis and criticism
Block 5: Generals conclusions

The figure of Picasso appears opposed to Francis Bacon, by highlighting the fact that both share vital characteristics and specific topics, and that the portrait and self-portrait formed part of their production during the whole of their creative period. The thesis also points out that Picasso was a model for Bacon that ended up evolving, tending towards the distortion and disfiguration of the face, and towards contemporaneity, the anti-portrait and the metaphorical  identity.

As follows we present a selection of other theses about Picasso and his surroundings, generated in the national university field, over the last ten years:

The reception of “what was primitive” in the exhibitions held in Spain until 1929
Authorship: Muñoz Torreblanca, Marina
Management: Ocampo, Estela
Centre: Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Humanities
Year: 2010
Consult online

Picassian horses
Authorship: Barbadilla Trompeta, José A.
Management: Barbero, Manuel
Centre: Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Drawing I
Year: 2010
Consult online

Picassian Iconography between 1905-1907. Influence of Pompeian painting
Authorship: Boncompte Coll, Concepción
Management: Cirlot, Lourdes
Centre: Universitat de Barcelona, Department of History of Art
Year: 2009
Consult online

Paul Eluard and Spain
Authorship: Gómez Ángel, Brisa
Management: Real Ramos, Elena
Centre: Universitat de Valencia, Department of French and Italian Philology
Year: 2005
Consult online

Artists and toys
Authorship: Antoñanzas Mejía, Fernando
Management: Martínez Salmean, María Luisa and Martínez Sierra, Pedro
Centre: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Drawing I
Year: 2005
Consult online

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Related links
Exhibition “Yo Picasso. Self-portraits”
After the exhibition“Yo Picasso. Self-Portraits”
The creative process of “Yo Picasso.Self-portraits”

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