Picasso Etchings Discovered Between Pages of a Library Book

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Pablo Picasso from "Vingt Poèmes de Góngora" (1947).Dec. 3, 2009 / The Guardian — Thirteen etchings by Pablo Picasso have come to light after a Spanish professor discovered them jammed into the pages of a book owned by the Spanish artist’s lover and muse, Dora Maar. The aquatints were found by chance earlier this year when Professor Andrés Soria began leafing through the pages of an illustrated edition of a book of poems by the Spanish poet Luis de Góngora, which was bought by Spain’s National Library a decade ago.

The book, which was an homage to one of Picasso’s favourite poets, was meant to have been illustrated by another artist — Ignacio González de la Serna. But it seems that Picasso was so disgusted with González de la Serna’s work that he tore the illustrations out and inserted artist’s proofs of his own work. He even drew a picture of a mask across González de Serna’s name in the front of the book.

The aquatints remained inside the book that Picasso gave to Maar, the French photographer and painter with whom he had a tempestuous relationship in the 1930s and 1940s. Soria, a literature specialist, said he was waiting for art historians and Picasso experts to turn their attention to the find — which remained secret until today.

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