Portfolio: Lee Miller
Pablo Picasso, the painter, sculptor, founder of Cubism and creator of some 25,000 works of art, was also, it seems, something of a clown.
In the artist's home, in Cannes, France, sat a sideboard piled high with masks, hats and the paraphernalia of fancy dress. When guests came to visit, they were required to don one of these masks to wear around the house, while Picasso would adorn himself in the manner depicted above. It proved a great ice-breaker: it's hard to feel overawed when your host is wearing a false nose. And it's a side to the man that sculptor Antony Penrose wants us to see more of.
"Picasso is often seen as serious – the person who painted Guernica – and hence impossible to relate to," says Penrose, who has curated a new exhibition entitled Picasso at Play. "I wanted to show aspects of him that were playful in a way that a younger audience could understand."
Penrose was just three years old when he first met Picasso, at his then-family home at Farley Farm House, Chiddingly, in East Sussex. His mother was the great American war photographer and model Lee Miller, whose close friendship with the painter allowed her to take a series of shots of him at his home, at play and at the Miller family home, which Picasso visited several times during his life.
And it is her photos of Picasso that Penrose has chosen for this exhibition, from a 1950 shot in which, dressed in tweed, he points to the village signpost to one of him splashing about on France's Côte d'Azur with his son. "I only knew him as a child," says Penrose, "but he had a great affinity for small children. They helped him improvise; it's why, I think, he got on better with them than adults." 1
Two exhibitions, Picasso at Play and Roland Penrose Surrealist Camera, are at Farley Farm House, East Sussex, from Tuesday until 22 July. They are free to view to those who purchase a tour of the house and gardens (farleyfarmhouse.co.uk)
Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigourfilm
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: ‘Sderot cinema’ image shows Israelis with popcorn and chairs 'cheering as missiles strike Palestinian targets'
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’