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last days Picasso and the antique

The show

The exhibition “Picasso and the Antique”, curated by Clemente Marconi, is part of the international project “Picasso Celebration 1973 – 2023: 50 exhibitions and events to celebrate Picasso” on the fiftieth anniversary of the artist's death. The exhibition is set up in the rooms of the Farnese collection and is divided into two parts: the first relates to the artist's stays in Naples, who on that occasion had the opportunity to visit the National Museum, which at the time was not yet purely "archaeological", because it housed the Art Gallery, then moved to Capodimonte in 1957; the second relating to the comparison between the museum's works and Picasso's works.

The profound echo of the 1917 trip to Italy on Picasso's artistic production has long been recognized and now represents a fixed point in literature. A decisive strengthening of Picasso's tendency towards the naturalism of the so-called "second classical period" is attributed precisely to the impact of the works of art seen in Rome, Naples and Florence. Within that journey, the stay in Naples, with a visit to both Pompeii and the Museum, has in turn a particular relevance: the naturalism of this Picasso phase takes on explicitly classicizing forms, well recognizable in the majority of the paintings and non-cubist drawings from the years 1917 to 1925 and in the graphic work of the 1930s. On display is the exceptional loan from the British Museum in London of 37 of the 100 plates that make up the Vollard Suite. These engravings, created between 1930 and 1937, constitute an interpretative fulcrum in the artist's work.

Added to these are the significant loans from the Picasso Museum in Paris and Gagosian New York, for a set of 43 works, compared mainly with the Farnese sculptures and the paintings from Pompeii, important keys to understanding Picasso's artistic career. In particular, the gigantism and monumentality of the Farnese sculptures would have had a particularly significant effect on Picasso's artistic development, leading the artist to give a three-dimensional appearance to his pictorial and sculptural works, marked before his visit to the then National Museum of Naples from the two-dimensionality of the cubist approach.


Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Piazza Museo n.18/19
80135 Naples


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