Fans of Pablo Picasso are going to be very excited to hear that the National Portrait Gallery in Leicester Square in London is hosting a brand new exhibition of his portraits. The space is just 25 minutes from M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel, Simply take the Northern line from Old Street for two stops to King’s Cross St. Pancras and swap to the Piccadilly Line for four stops to arrive at Leicester Square Station.
The gallery will be showcasing the collection, known simply as Picasso Portraits, until January 2017, so there will be plenty of time for you to get to see these magnificent pieces of work.
Although there have been many exhibitions showing off Picasso’s art and lots of museums purely dedicated to his process, this offering by the National Portrait Gallery attempts to show the sheer variety and innovation he gave the world.
What will I see?
All periods of his work are going to be shown in Picasso Portraits, from the earliest to the very latest people he painted. You can expect to see a moving self-portrait that provides an introspective look of how he viewed himself in his younger years.
This won’t just be in the one space either, as you will move between different rooms to explore the different times of his life and how this affected his painting.
Enjoy the work of a young Pablo in Paris that depicts a world of art, friends and partying, which sounds stunning, although in reality some of it borders on the fascinatingly grotesque.
Of course, Picasso is perhaps best known for his part in the Cubism movement and you’ll see so much of this in the exhibition. This is thanks in no small part to model Fernande Olivier, who features heavily throughout Picasso’s works. Some even say that she was a major influence on his road to success and artistic greatness.
The corridor of caricatures are a display that you might be less familiar with when it comes to Picasso. People often see these as interesting rather than as depictions of artistic brilliance, but you can make this decision for yourself when you stroll along the section.
Most of the caricatures are completely unflattering portraits of his first wife Olga; Picasso was known for his questionable treatment of women, so you can draw your own conclusions about how he might have viewed her.
As badly as he may have treated women, there is no doubt that Picasso had a fixation on them, and the last room of the exhibition perfectly reflects this. The collection shows his process from marriage to affair and back again, including paintings of Dora Maar and Marie-Therese Walter, among others.
You’ll see intense beauty mixed with twisted perceptions in this final stage of his portraiture, but be assured that all of it is fascinating.