Private Pablo Picasso Photos Reveal Secrets Of Painter’s Wives And Mistresses

The life of famed Spanish painter Pablo Picasso has been immortalized through countless books and films. Some of them fictionalized accounts of the artist’s life, while others that pretty accurately display his womanizing and alcoholism. But a new glimpse into Pablo’s career is set to be offered for viewing by the public that clears up large portions of Picasso’s life which have stayed blank for historians for years.

Pablo’s grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, has bequeathed a large collection of family home movies and photos to British art historian Sir John Richardson, who was both personal friends with Picasso and is widely regarded as the leading expert on his life and work. Richardson is ecstatic about the gift of information, saying that it will allow him to even more clearly connect Pablo’s life with his art, reported the Guardian.

“It is a mass of hundreds and hundreds of photographs which have never been seen. They’re a revelation. They are of all periods – fascinating when you compare them to certain paintings or events in his life. It opens up his life. It makes it 3D. Absolutely astonishing.”

The women in Picasso’s life have always been of particular interest to historians. The artist carried a reputation of going through them quickly, leaving some of them bruised in the process. Richardson noted that the newest set of photographs really shows how much Pablo used the technology to find what angles he wanted to portray his women in.

“He constantly took photos of them. Sometimes there’s a direct resemblance. Sometimes you can see that he’s looking around for the way he wants to paint her… That’s absolutely unseen. That belongs to the family. I was rather determined to get that. You can feel from the portraits most of all whether he was passionately in love or whether he was completely turned off by them.”

One such depressing life story given more detail from the footage is that of Picasso’s first wife Olga. Earlier photographs reveal how fascinated Pablo was by her form, while later ones are less careful about flattering angles. One later photograph shows Olga sitting in the foreground with a bust of one of Picasso’s mistresses behind her, by no mistake, says Richardson.

“Picasso fell madly in love with her when she was a Diaghilev dancer. She turned out to be rather neurotic. It ended badly. She didn’t exactly go crazy, but she became a very wounded woman.”

A select number of the photographs will be shown in New York at the Gagosian Gallery until January 3, as part of an exhibition that looks at the influence of dance and movement on Pablo Picasso’s work.

[Image via Flickr]