Early Picasso

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Early Picasso

From Fred Ross

Published before 2005

Saying Picasso is a dwarf compared to Cézanne, is like saying a British Leland Mini is a dwarf compared with a Volkswagen beetle. Neither are Mercedes or Ferraris, and you need to compare them to each other in order to find value in either one of them.

But even that is not a very accurate analogy since they both have the basic characteristics of automobiles.

Cézanne started dismantling the methods and techniques by which fine works of art can be produced. Picasso accelerated that process until all that was left was a heap of spare parts.

So to make the analogy more accurate, Cézanne removed the fenders, lights and doors.

Picasso put the engine on the roof, removed the wheels and steering columns, cut the chassis in half, and placed his monstrosity in a show room with a huge price tag, surrounded by salesmen trained in convincing shoppers that despite the evidence of their senses, this was the greatest car in automotive history. And although it might not take them anywhere, they would surely be able to sell it to the next bloke who walks through the door for twice the price because "experts" and "journalists" were all writing about what a marvelous vehicle it is.

Now the analogy is accurate.