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Pablo Picasso

Verre et Pichet

Verre et Pichet by Pablo Picasso

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Picasso produced a range of still life paintings during the Second World War, many of which use the jug, glass and candle as central elements. In still life painting a lit candle or lamp traditionally symbolises hope, while food and drink, no matter how sparse, are the basic nourishment of life. With the outbreak of war, Picasso's objects came to include memento mori - bleached white skulls and blood-red slabs of flesh, similar in tone to the violent protest demonstrated in the still life paintings of Francesco Goya and Paul Cézanne. These motifs became political symbols, for, as he said, 'a casserole too can scream'. Picasso's still lifes thus serve as powerful metaphors for the dark years of the Second World War - water will sustain life, but the lemon is also bitter, and the table is bare. Yet there is still an element of hope in paintings done at this time. After the Allies landed at Normandy on 6 June 1944, he began writing the specific date on the back of his paintings, sometimes producing several versions of the same theme in one day, as if repetition would somehow bring about a desired result. Verre et pichet is one of these, serving as a kind of advent calendar, awaiting the moment of epiphany. (from The Guide, 2001)

Verre et Pichet
Production date
24 Jul 1944
oil on canvas
Size (h x w)
330 x 413 mm
Picasso. 24 Juillet 44. 30.
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, on loan from the Thanksgiving Foundation
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
On display

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