Edited by Ina Conzen. Essays by Dominique Dupuis-Labb», Guido Messling, Anke Spàtter and Ina Conzen.
No 20th-century artist enjoys greater popularity than Pablo Picasso, and none has been exhibited more often or studied so intensely. Yet there remains uncharted territory on the map of the master's extensive oeuvre, which spanned one of the most tumultuous, experimental periods of art history: the seaside figural scenes that fascinated Picasso throughout his life. From his early Cubist period in the first years of the century through his classicizing phase and into his late work of the 1960s, Picasso returned again and again to this sand-and-sea theme. Even in 1937, when he was so powerfully engaged with the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, sketching preparatory drawings for Guernica, he was also busy executing a group of decidedly non-political works representing bathers. The resulting paintings, including On the Beach(also known as Girls with a Toy Boat) recall his earlier Three Bathers from 1920. Here as elsewhere, Picasso developed a series of novel approaches to form and content, methods whose richness and radical unconventionality derive from the artist's observations of the uninhibited movements of bodies in open air. The subject of bathers, so close to the heart of many of the 20th century's most important artists, is illuminated in this richly illustrated volume. Full-color reproductions present some 130 works from across Picasso's creative periods. Completing the panorama are comparable works by artists known to have inspired Picasso, among them Cªzanne, Matisse, Renoir, Andrª Derain, Georges Braque, Fernand Lªger, and Miro.