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Richard Hamilton: Picasso's meninas

23.03.2010 - 04.07.2010

Until 30 May the Museo del Prado is offering a new viewpoint on Velázquez’s Las Meninas through this exhibition, which includes three of the most memorable interpretations of that great masterpiece, executed by Goya in 1778-1779, Picasso, and Richard Hamilton.

For the first time in an exhibition, visitors can see the creative process behind the print that Richard Hamilton, one of the founding figures of Pop Art, produced in 1973 for the portfolio Hommage à Picasso as a tribute to the artist on his 90th birthday. The exhibition includes five preliminary and preparatory drawings and six proofs that culminate in the definitive print, which is Hamilton’s tribute to Picasso through his reinterpretation of Velázquez’s masterpiece.

This group of works is accompanied by a drawing and three proofs of 1778-1779 by Goya. They reveal the rigorous process through which the artist achieved perfection in his again highly personal interpretation of Las Meninas. The selection is completed with the first sketch produced by Picasso in 1957 for his series on Las Meninas, here presented as the link between Velázquez, Goya and Hamilton.

The exhibition offers visitors the chance to learn more about the process of reflection, experimentation and creation undertaken by three great artists who maintained their own creative freedom when interpreting one of the masterpieces of Spanish art.

Access

Room D. Jerónimos Building

Multimedia

Exhibition

Richard Hamilton’s Las Meninas

Richard Hamilton’s Las Meninas
Picasso’s Meninas.
Richard Hamilton. 1973. Pen and black ink, grey ink wash, lead white, pencil and Conté crayon. 750 x 570 mm. Collection of the Artist.

Richard Hamilton’s contribution to this print portfolio in homage to Picasso was Picasso’s Las Meninas, an etching with aquatint on white paper. It was printed by Aldo Crommelynck, the master printer with whom Picasso had worked on the production of most of his prints over the course of twenty years. In this print Hamilton transforms Velázquez into Picasso and replaces the original figures in the painting with others in the different styles in which Picasso worked. Thus we see the Blue and Pink Periods, classicism and expressionism. Using a wide range of Picasso’s techniques, including free washes of aquatint, Hamilton brings together and fuses all the different idioms used by Picasso in a single image that had also inspired Picasso: Velázquez’s Las Meninas.

In Picasso’s Las Meninas Hamilton combines allusions that unite the past with the present and art with literature, using numerous changes of style within one composition in order to pay personal tribute to Picasso while also revealing his profound admiration for Velázquez and the influence that James Joyce exercised on his thought.

Hommage à Picasso

Hommage à Picasso
Las Meninas.
Pablo Picasso. Blue pencil, Paper removed from a sketchbook. 1957. Barcelona, Museu Picasso, donated by Catherine Hutin, 2009.

In 1971 the Austrian writer and critic Wieland Schmied invited artists from around the world to produce a graphic work for the portfolio Hommage à Picasso, to be published by Propyläen Verlag, Berlin. This idea, which is unique in the history of the print, was intended to celebrate the 90th birthday of the great 20th-century artist who had taken printmaking to a new and universal level. In the end, the project was not published until 1973, as a result of which it became one of the earliest posthumous tributes to Picasso. Hamilton, Hockney and artists as diverse as Joan Miró and Andy Warhol were involved in this homage, along with sixty more.

Artworks

1

Working Drawing I

Laterally reversed photographic print of study II.

Pen and black ink, pencil, gouache and lead white.

2

Study II

Pen and black ink, grey and black ink wash, lead white, pencil, Conté crayon and colour pencils.

3

Study I

Pen and black ink, grey ink wash, lead white, pencil and Conté crayon.

4

Stage Proof II

Etching, sugar aquatint, soft-ground etching, stipple engraving, drypoint and burnishing.

5

Stage Proof I

Etching, sugar aquatint and stipple engraving.

6

Las meninas

Francisco de Goya

Pencil underdrawing. Red chalk and traces of black pencil on Dutch laid paper

ca. 1778

Madrid, Private Collection

7

Velázquez’s Las Meninas

Laurent (?)

Albumen print

Last quarter of the nineteenth century

Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado

8

Stage Proofs III-VI

Etching, sugar aquatint, soft-ground etching, stipple engraving, roulette, drypoint and burnishing.

9

Las Meninas

Francisco de Goya

Working proof. Etching, lavis over sulfur tint and/or crayon manner, drypoint, burin, and roulette, on laid paper

ca. 1778-79

Boston, Museum of Fine Arts

10

Las Meninas

Pablo Picasso

Blue pencil, Paper removed from a sketchbook

1957

Barcelona, Museu Picasso, donated by Catherine Hutin, 2009

11

Study III

Pen and black ink, grey and black ink wash, lead white, pencil and Conté crayon.

12

Working Drawing II

Pen and black ink, and pencil on tracing paper.

13

Final State (Artist’s Proof AP 1/15)

Etching, sugar aquatint, soft-ground etching, stipple engraving, roulette, drypoint and burnishing.

14

Las Meninas

Francisco de Goya

Working proof before the lavis. Etching, aquatint, drypoint, burin, and roulette, on laid paper

Obverse: printed in red ink

Reverse: printed in black ink, upside down

ca. 1778-79

Madrid, Private Collection

15

Las Meninas

Francisco de Goya

Working Proof before the burin and roulette. Etching, aquatint and drypoint on laid paper

ca. 1778-79

Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional

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