Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso. Crucifixion, 1930



Oil on wood


In 1930, Picasso painted an unexpected for his work gospel-themed picture Crucifixion, which is considered a landmark on the way from the first example of Surrealism, "The Three Dancers" (1925), to the famous "Guernica" (1937). The work is narrative: all participants of the gospel story, which was repeatedly reproduced by artists of all time, are recognizable in the monstrously deformed figures.

One of the unique aspects of the composition is the use of different scales for the figures: the crucified Jesus Christ and barely guessable in sharp contours and color planes Holy Mother and Mary Magdalene are large, and bodies of robbers dropped from the crosses and soldiers playing cards for the coat of the executed are slightly smaller. The most miniature figures are the man nailing the Christ’s hand to the crossbar and the rider poking the nailed body with his lance. The dramatically broken characters of "Crucifixion" anticipate the affected characters of "Guernica".

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