Cyprus Mail

Picasso’s works of clay at the Cyprus Museum

Picasso’s works of clay at the Cyprus Museum

Possibly unknown to some but Picasso, besides his timeless paintings, also created a lot of ceramic work in his time. Now his clay pieces are coming to Cyprus as the Department of Antiquities announces the organisation of the exhibition Picasso at the Cyprus Museum. Works in Clay starting this June and lasting until the end of summer.

At the age of 65, Pablo Picasso developed a passion for ceramic art, which became one of his main forms of expression until the end of his life. In fact, the famous artist’s systematic engagement with ceramics began in 1946 in Vallauris, while on vacation there.

The ancient art of pottery, the malleability and durability of clay as raw material, the unpredictable end result, the combination of arts (painting, sculpture, pottery), the usability and transformation of clay objects were all elements that fascinated Picasso. Since 1946 and until 1971, Picasso created an enormous number of original ceramic works, which exceed 3,500 in number.

In his ceramic works, the artist uses various shapes, motifs, textures and themes from antiquity and mythology, without copying them, however. Instead, he created a whole new reality. From his preparatory sketches to his final works, one can distinguish influences from the pottery art of ancient cultures, particularly those of the Mediterranean region.

Organised by the Department of Antiquities as part of the Picasso Mediterranée programme and led by the National Picasso Museum in Paris Picasso at the Cyprus Museum. Works in Clay presents a small but representative part of Picasso’s ceramic creations, with original and unique works. At the same time, the exhibition includes Cypriot antiquities, grouped in such a way as to highlight specific themes, shapes and motifs of antiquity, whose echoes archaeologists discern in Picasso’s works. The visitor is invited to reflect on and sense possible points of encounter and dialogue, but also common characteristics and traits, many of which could have developed randomly.

“Indeed, was Picasso aware of Cypriot antiquities? What is certain is that the artist never visited Cyprus,” the organisers said. His work, however, entitled Faces of a Woman, which was the spark for this exhibition, was inspired by a Cypriot clay composite vessel of the Early Bronze Age (circa 2000 BC), which is exhibited at the Louvre Museum, while similar ones are part of the Cyprus Museum collection.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue in Greek and English.


Picasso at the Cyprus Museum – Works in Clay

Picasso’s ceramic creations exhibition organized by the Department of Antiquities, as part of the Picasso Mediterranée programme and led by the National Picasso Museum in Paris. June 12-September 8. Cyprus Museum, Nicosia. Tel: 22-865854

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