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Picasso’s magical summer at Fontainebleau – theartwolf

Pablo Picasso - Three Women - Three Musicians - 1921

From October 01, 2023 to February 10, 2024, the Museum of Modern Art presents “Picasso in Fontainebleau”, a focused exhibition examining Picasso’s body of work created between July and September 1921 in the town of Fontainebleau, France.

Source: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York · Image: Pablo Picasso. “Three Women at the Spring”. Fontainebleau, summer 1921. Oil on canvas, 6′ 8 1/4″ x 68 1/2″ (203.9 x 174 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pablo Picasso, “Three Musicians”. Fontainebleau, summer 1921. Oil on canvas, 6′ 7″ x 7′ 3 3/4″ (200.7 x 222.9 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The exhibition reunites both monumental versions of Picasso’s “Three Musicians” and “Three Women at the Spring” with the other major works on canvas, small preparatory paintings, line drawings, etchings, and pastels he created in Fontainebleau. This is the first time these works have been presented together since they left Picasso’s studio. Encompassing both Cubist and classic academic styles, these works are complemented by never-before-seen photographs and archival documents.

Organized chronologically, “Picasso in Fontainebleau” begins with a prelude to the artist´s three months at Fontainebleau. Pre–World War I Cubist works exhibited in Paris during early 1921 are on view in the first gallery, accompanied by a selection of Picasso’s designs for the Ballets Russes and related print projects. As the exhibition transitions into Picasso’s time in the town of Fontainebleau, his diary-like line drawings of the interior and exterior of his rented villa, at 33 boulevard Gambetta (now 33 boulevard du Général Leclerc) in Fontainebleau, are presented, along with documents from the artist’s archives and some 30 photographs, many of which are exhibited for the first time.

The final gallery of “Picasso in Fontainebleau” brings together many of Picasso’s Fontainebleau works for the first time, including both versions of “Three Musicians” and “Three Women at the Spring” and five large, pastel head drawings closely related to “Three Women at the Spring.” Echoing Picasso’s Fontainebleau studio, the exhibition will install the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Three Musicians” and MoMA’s “Three Women at the Spring” sideby side for the first time since 1921. These two seemingly opposite paintings—Cubist and classical in style—which were painted roughly at the same time, emphasize the interconnectedness of Picasso’s process and practice that resulted in a varied body of work across mediums, models, and visual idioms.

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