Largest Ever Picasso Canvas Goes on Display

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Exhibits, Pablo Picasso

On Thursday, a rarely seen Pablo Picasso work was hung at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. In fact, the gigantic canvas has spent most of the last 80 years rolled up in storage.

Deux Femmes Courant sur la Plage, Pablo Picasso

A V&A employee admires Pablo Picasso’s front cloth designed for the Ballets Russes 1924 performance of “Le Train Bleu.” [Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images]

The piece measures 34′ x 38′, qualifying it as the largest painting ever designed by Picasso. It was purchased by the museum in 1969 and will be the star of a retrospective opening this fall—Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929. According to the V&A, the exhibit will examine the origins, development and long-term influence of the Russian Ballet, to celebrate their first seasons in Europe a hundred years ago.

Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929), founder of the Russian Ballet company, saw Picasso’s much smaller painting, Deux Femmes Courant sur la Plage (currently in the Musée Picasso in Paris), and wanted to use the image on a curtain for a performance of the ballet Le Train Bleu. The canvas was finished by seven other artists, and Picasso was so impressed with their work that he signed and dedicated the piece to Diaghilev.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
September 25, 2010 – January 9, 2011
Museum website

Park West Gallery has become one of the longest running and largest dealers of Picasso graphic works internationally. Learn more

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