Art Diary

Picasso – El Greco

2 June 2022

This show at the Kunstmuseum Basel (11 June–25 September) considers El Greco’s influence on Pablo Picasso. Paintings by the artists are displayed in 40 pairings, revealing how Picasso borrowed motifs from El Greco’s portraiture throughout his long career; The head and shoulders in Picasso’s Portrait of a Stranger in the Style of El Greco (1899), for example, directly resemble features seen in El Greco’s depictions of saints such as Saint Hieronymus (c. 1610). The exhibition moves through the early Blue Period to focus on Cubism, the figurative paintings of the 1930s and ’40s and beyond; highlights include two galleries devoted to pairings of Picasso works with portraits from El Greco’s series Apostolados: The Series of Christ and the Apostles (c.1608–14). Find out more on the Kunstmuseum’s website – and click here for an in-depth exploration of the links between El Greco and Picasso’s Cubism by the curator of the exhibition, Carmen Giménez, from the June 2022 issue of Apollo. 

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here 

Portrait of an Old Man (c. 1595–1600), El Greco. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Nu assis (c. 1909–10), Pablo Picasso. Tate Modern, London; © Succession Picasso/2022, ProLitteris, Zurich

The Adoration of the Name of Jesus (c. 1577–79), El Greco. Patrimonio Nacional, Collections Reales, Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial

Lady in a Fur Wrap (c. 1580–88), Alonso Sánchez Coello. Glasgow Museums

Autoportrait (Self-Portrait) (1901), Pablo Picasso. Photo: RMN Grand Palais/Mathieu Rabeau; Musée national Picasso, Paris; © Succession Picasso, 2021, ProLitteris, Zurich

Madame Canals (Benedetta Bianco)

Madame Canals (Benedetta Bianco) (1905), Pablo Picasso. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, © Succession Picasso/ 2022, ProLitteris, Zurich