Picasso and the Masters Face Off

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Love a good debate? Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times serves up a spicy one in his recent review of a show at the Grand Palais that juxtaposes hundreds of Picasso’s paintings with the master works that inspired them: Cranach and Titian, Poussin and Ribera, Chardin and Zurbarán, El Greco and Courbet, Degas and le Douanier Rousseau, to name a few. The resulting experience? According to Kimmelman, Picasso comes up short when compared to the masters. From the article:

“His achievements were Promethean and unparalleled in
the last century, but having said that, as the show proves almost
despite itself, Picasso ended up often mired in vain, backward-looking
riffs on grander achievements. Perhaps it’s as the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once put it, talking about Picasso’s failure to appreciate Bonnard. ‘Picasso had no heart,’ he said. That’s pretty harsh.”

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