Picasso showed great interest in Romanesque art throughout his career. The many testimonies to the artist’s interest in this early art include his visit to the Romanesque rooms in the museum in 1934. Among the various primitive influences on the avant-garde movement, Picasso himself considered that Romanesque art provided “an invaluable lesson for the moderns”, as he commented during his visit to the museum.
Picasso’s personal library, and his correspondence with a series of individuals, further confirm this fascination. What Picasso admired about Romanesque artists was their ability to explain reality through a language full of signs and symbols, at once simple and powerful. Like other avant-garde artists, Picasso considered the Romanesque as an indubitably artistic phenomenon, an attitude that contrasted with the archaeological treatment that this art received in certain sectors.
Based on a selection of works from the Musée national Picasso-Paris, the exhibition suggests a dialogue between the Romanesque works and pieces by Picasso from different periods in his career. The purpose behind this is to highlight the previous existence, in Romanesque art, of artistic solutions that help to resolve the problems and challenges faced by contemporary artists and, therefore, also by Picasso in his work.