New Insights on Picasso’s Blue Period Painting La famille Soler

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Catherine Defeyt; Philippe Walter; Hélène Rousselière; Peter Vandenabeele; Bart Vekemans; Louise Samain; David Strivay;


Studies in Conservation, Routledge, Volume 63, Number 1, p.24-35 (2018)


ABSTRACTThe study of La Famille Soler using non-invasive imaging, molecular, structural, and elemental analysis allowed the re-examination of changes of the work. Considered as the earliest of Picasso’s versions of Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by E. Manet, evidence suggests that an underlying landscape painted by Vidal in 1903 also referred to Manet’s masterpiece. On the other hand, new results suggest that the cubist sketch undertaken by Picasso in 1912, prior to the current blue background, could be an uncompleted transformation of Vidal’s landscape into synthetic cubism. Through study the main pigments used in the underlying compositions were successfully identified.