The Three Dancers

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The Three Dancers
Artist Pablo Picasso
Year 1925
Type Oil on canvas
Dimensions 215.3 cm × 142.2 cm (84.8 in × 56 in)
Location Tate Gallery, London

The Three Dancers (French: Les Trois Danseuses[1]) is a painting by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, painted in June 1925. It is an oil on canvas and measures 84.8 in x 56 in (215.3 cm x 142.2 cm).[2]

Description[edit]

The painting shows three dancers, the one on the right being barely visible. A macabre dance takes place, with the dancer on the left having her head bent at a near-impossible angle. The dancer on the right is usually interpreted as being Ramon Pichot, a friend of Picasso who died during the painting of Three Dancers. (Some critics believe it could well be Picasso's wife Olga Khokhlova.[3]) The one on the left is claimed to be Pichot’s wife Germaine Gargallo with the one in the centre being Gargallo’s boyfriend Carlos Casagemas, also Picasso’s friend.[4] Casagemas shot himself after failing to shoot Gargallo, twenty-five years before Pichot’s death, and the loss of two of his best friends spurred Picasso to paint this chilling depiction of the love triangle.

Background[edit]

Picasso painted The Three Dancers in Paris after a trip to Monte Carlo with his wife, ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova. At this time, Picasso was attracted to André Breton's Surrealism movement.[5] In 1926 the painting appeared in Breton's work Le surréalisme et la peinture (Surrealism and Painting). Others link Three Dancers to Picasso's failing marriage to Khokhlova.[6]

Its caption at the Tate Gallery gives some insight into the background of the painting:

It is owned by the Tate Gallery, London, having been purchased by it in 1965, and is currently on display as part of the Tate Modern's 'Poetry and Dream' exhibition.[8] The purchase was facilitated by Picasso's friendship with Roland Penrose who was a trustee of the Tate at that time.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Picasso called it Les Trois Danseuses (French) despite being a Spanish citizen, and the painting is occasionally called this, the original title (see [9]), as well as its English translation. Picasso lived in France and French titles for his paintings were not uncommon (see Garçon à la pipe and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, for instance).
  2. ^ Three Dancers at Artchive
  3. ^ Three Dancers at everything2.com
  4. ^ The Guardian 's Arts Feature, 7 July 2001
  5. ^ The Guardian 's Arts Feature, 7 July 2001
  6. ^ Tate Gallery: The Three Dancers
  7. ^ Tate Gallery: The Three Dancers
  8. ^ web.org.uk - The Three Dancers