Crucifixion, Picasso, 1930

History of the painting

Two Russian thinkers rated Picasso’s works as “icons of the abyss”, with no conspiracy and at different times. It’s funny that it concerned the paintings of the Cubism period which were relatively early and relatively innocent. Nevertheless, the philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev defined Picasso as “a brilliant spokesman for decomposition and dispersion of the physical world”. And theorist of mystical anarchism Georgy Chulkov, not being shy about harsh words, vividly stated: “I consider Picasso a brilliant spokesman for the pessimistic demonism of modern Europe … Picasso’s paintings are hieroglyphs of Satan, burns of hellfire”.

Both Russian philosophers survived to the appearance of the stage work of Picasso “Crucifixion”. The work, which the artist himself appreciated so highly that he did not want to give up with it for any money. Theoretically, both should have been delighted with her appearance, because it was a great opportunity to say: “We talked about Satanism and blasphemy of Picasso almost twenty years ago!”

But both philosophers were silent. The “blasphemy and profanity” was practiced by short-sighted newspapers. It was clear to normal people that neither of those things was and couldn’t be in this picture.

But what is there, in these terribly broken figures, where Christ is more or less distinguishable, and the rest of us can barely guess?

Sometimes the Spanish are characterized by an extremely tragic feeling of life.

And Picasso in his “Crucifixion” shows not only the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross. It increases the effect of horror many times in a simple way. This masterpiece shows the whole long and painful execution in the process. From the beginning, where the red man is only preparing to nail Jesus’ hand to the cross, to the end, where the equestrian centurion is piercing his chest with a spear, and then the “blood and water” will flow out, proving that the crucified man definitely died…

Art historian Carlos Rojas wrote about something similar: “All the few works by Picasso on religious subjects are quite consistent with the Spanish national character, shown in an attempt to find the true face of God.

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