Sunday, July 20, 2008

Francoise On The Beach - Pablo Picasso

Francoise Gilot Picasso SketchPablo Picasso was often in love but perhaps his greatest love was Francoise Gilot (companion between 1944 and 1953). Or, at least from his pictures it would seem so. She was not, in fact the most beautiful girl in the world (very Greek, with a long nose, and certain things going around the corners of her mouth that would produce hard wrinkles later).

But, in this tender series of drawings, Picasso created her essence in a very, very few simple lines. He did these sketches (or etched them, which is about the same thing), in the first few years that he knew her, and I once had one of the prints from a limited edition.
Picasso Francoise Gilot sketch
That is, he didn't capture her essence, but his idea of it. She was, undoubtedly, a lovely lady.

Here is a sketched etching of her (I've been vandal enough to put a Technicolor background to it.)

Picasso's artistic shorthand was amazing; here are a very few simple short lines, giving the very essence of the woman he loved.

"The sketch is like a tree; a trunk growing up from the narrow neck to fruit in abundance".

(No it isn't; he drew the face first, and the neck afterward; but why not give a bit of desconstructionable bullshit).

And just look at those simple, simple lines; total and absolute confidence in exactly where they will go, and exactly what they will shape.

Picasso really was a faux naïf genius, and I'll go on to say a bit more about him in later posts.

Francoise went on, from Picasso, to marry Dr. Jonas Salk, the co-inventor of the polio vaccine. For one woman to marry two geniuses (genii?) in a lifetime is a more than considerable achievement.

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