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WORK OF THE WEEK | 8 April 2019

CAG.233 Pablo Picasso, Le Vieux Roi (The Old King), 1963, signed and numbered (136/160) reduction lino-cut print on Arches paper, 64 x 52.6 cm. Purchased, 1981. © Estate of Pablo Picasso.

For this WORK OF THE WEEK we celebrate Pablo Picasso, the irrepressible giant of twentieth-century art who died aged 91 on this day in 1973.

Le Vieux Roi (The Old King) is one of two signed prints by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in our collection. Dating to 1963, it depicts a king who has become clownish, perhaps foolish, in his old age. This is underscored by the naive style adopted by the artist, which he achieves through simple, irregular shapes and overlapping, brilliant colours.

‘Every child,’ as Picasso would reflect, ‘is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’ Best known for his Blue, Rose, and Cubist periods, his later experimentation with the possibilities of lithograph and linocut printmaking in works like this demonstrate his continual exploration of his own creativity.

This work is featured, alongside Lear and Cordelia by Daniel Maclise and Stunts by Gerard Dillon, in HEROES & VILLAINS until 14 April 2019.

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