picasso lobster and cat
Because of the subject matter of the painting, it was decided to hang the painting in Room XI of Museo Picasso Málaga. Known informally among MPM staff as the Bestiary Room, the works in it illustrate the importance of animals in Picasso’s life and in his paintings.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York loaned Museo Picasso Málaga a canvas painted by Pablo Picasso in 1965: Lobster and Cat, from its Thannhauser Collection. Thannhauser was a benefactor who donated a major modern art collection to the museum in 1963, including over 30 works by Pablo Picasso.
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The surprising thing about Picassos painting is that he is able to retain the humorous anecdote of an eighteenth-century painting while focussing on and highlighting the encounter between the cat and the lobster, in an effective metaphor of aggression and defence, both provoked by fear. Picasso worked a number of times on transforming the monumental to the miniature, the trifling to the significant, and vice versa.
The work, which is on show for the first time in Spain, can be seen in Room XI of Museo Picasso Málaga until the 20th January, 2013. It will hang alongside other canvases that illustrate the important role of animals in Pablo Picassos life and work.
Three works by Vincent van Gogh are included in the show: Roadway with Underpass (1887) as well as Landscape with Snow (1888) and Mountains at Saint-Rémy (1889).
Thannhauser had collected various pieces by Edgar Degas, including the three superb bronze sculptures on display: Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised, Spanish Dancer, and Seated Woman, Wiping Her Left Side. There is also another exceptional bronze, Woman with Crab by Aristide Maillol, dating to the early 20th century. The landscape that seduced Europeans during the Paul Gauguin retrospective organized by the Thannhauser gallery in Berlin in 1928, Haere Mai painted on Tahiti, is also displayed in Milan.
In this decade Picasso did a series of paintings of cats and lobsters as well as crabs on the beach. Lobster and Cat (1965) could just be a humorous study of a cat surprised by a lobster, but it could also symbolize the conflict of the time, the Cuban missile crisis.
Crazy cat ladies, already well documented, were not forgotten by Picasso who painted Crazy Lady(Woman) with Cats.