Thursday, 25 August 2011

Picasso and Balzac

The rue des Grands-Augustins is a beautiful street steeped in history. Situated in the 6th arrondissement, the buildings are primarily 18th century and boast famous inhabitants such as Picasso, and Robert and Sonia Delaunay. Thankfully, the French are excellent at marking historic locations which takes the guess work out of seeing ‘what’ happened ‘where’.

In 1931, Picasso illustrated Balzac’s Le Chef-d’Ĺ“uvre inconnu for art dealer and publisher, Ambroise Vollard. I understand he was so taken with the story  which was set on the rue des Grands-Augustins that he decided to move there. This seems as good a reason as any if you ask me. It must have been an inspiring location as it was here Picasso produced Guernica. Not that Picasso had painters block or anything – he could have produced masterpieces in a sewer, I’m sure. Still. Balzac and all……


Balzac was inspiration to Picasso, Picasso is inspiration to, well, all modern art. And on it goes.

What is art? Nature concentrated
Honore de Balzac

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
Pablo Picasso

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