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Paintings in Glass

Curated by Dr Florian Knothe and Laure Raibaut

Edited and translated by Cris Mattison and Claudia Yu

Website designed by Wendy Zhang


策展人:羅諾德博士, 雷蕾
文字編輯和翻譯:馬德松, 余悅思



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The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG), The University of Hong Kong, is delighted to present Pablo Picasso: Paintings in Glass—an unprecedented display of works by the renowned twentieth-century artist. This retrospective focuses on Picasso’s gemmaux collaborations and the gallery-based exhibition in 2023 coincided with the 50th anniversary of the artist’s passing—a time in which Picasso’s work continues to be discussed and displayed internationally in an increasingly global art world.

In 1954, Picasso (1881–1973) became aware of gemmaux glass mosaic panels through his friend Jean Cocteau (1889–1963). Gemmaux is the plural form of gemmail, a fusion of the French terms ‘gemme’ and ‘email’, meaning ‘enamel gem’. At the time, the studio of Roger Malherbe-Navarre (1908–2006), Les Gemmaux de France, was expanding on the light boxes created by the French painter Jean Crotti (1870–1958). The process includes layering pieces of glass into pictorial depictions.

Impressed by the gemmistes’ masterful assembling and fusing of carefully selected pieces of glass, Picasso declared ‘A new art is born – the gemmaux!’ He first selected Woman in a wicker chair (Femme dans un fauteuil d’osier, no. 5), then his Self-portrait (Yo) (no. 1) and Women of Algiers (Femmes d’Alger, no. 10), before creating a total of sixty major works in this translucent material which he cherished for its light and modernity, as well as the pictorial qualities that the new artistic technique brought, particularly to his Cubist oeuvre. Like Picasso, other Cubists such as George Braque (1882–1963) were fascinated by the transparency and volume introduced by the gemmaux.

Created between 1954 and 1957 to explore and showcase the medium’s artistic possibilities, the results of Picasso’s works in glass were simply astonishing. The earliest display took place in Monaco in February 1956, followed by a retrospective in Paris in March 1957. These exhibitions were an immediate success, with important collectors acquiring his gemmaux and numerous public exhibitions following in Europe and the US between 1959–1964 and 1959–1961. 

Despite their significance, Picasso’s gemmaux remain relatively understudied, and since the 1960s, have rarely been displayed, with the exception of four exhibitions in Japan in 1998. As such, the artist’s ambition to master this complicated technique and expand his diverse oeuvre across lesser-known media is underappreciated. As with his explorations into ceramics, Picasso’s glass works exemplify his unique approach to merging iconic pictorial themes with more three-dimensional and sculptural aspects.

The works on loan from a private collection, on view at UMAG during the French May Arts Festival 2023, offer a little-known perspective on some of Picasso’s most renowned painterly compositions. Besides the aforementioned artworks, the collection contains still-life paintings, such as Still life with yellow pot (Nature morte au pot jaune, no. 16) and an iconic Bullfight (Course de taureaux, no. 19) scene.

Everything from Picasso’s daily life was a source of inspiration, whether it be his lovers and children or everyday objects in the studio. Each artwork conveys autobiographical information, relaying the artist’s emotion and state of mind. Just as a portrait by the artist is never a straightforward depiction of a sitter, a still life is never a meaningless assortment of objects. John Richardson wrote in his posthumously published A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933–1943 (New York: Knopf, 2021), still life paintings were a passion for Picasso that ‘he would eventually explore more exhaustively and develop more imaginatively than any other artist in history’. Subject matter was a pretence to explore the processes of perception and the mechanics of representation. Hence, Picasso painted and drew several arrangements of the same or similar sets of objects, working methodically, perhaps obsessively. In Picasso’s still life paintings, objects are rendered with an entirely new artistic language, composed of fragmented, flattened planes portrayed from multiple viewpoints.

This final point—the reference to the Cubist oeuvre for which Picasso became world-famous—is exemplified by Still life with pigeon (Nature morte au pigeon, no. 15), while the artist’s abstract art manifests itself in Woman combing her hair (Femme se coiffant, no. 7), one of the many portraits of his lover, muse and fellow artist Dora Maar (1907–1997). These nineteen masterpieces—which constitute 38% of all fifty gemmaux works created by the celebrated artist—make UMAG’s exhibition Pablo Picasso: Paintings in Glass a significant event in the history of the exhibition of Picasso’s diverse works.


1954年,畢加索(1881–1973)透過好友尚.科克多(Jean Cocteau,1889–1963)初次接觸玻璃畫技術(gemmaux)。「Gemmaux」為 「gemmail」之複數形式,是法語的寶石(gemme)和琺瑯彩料(émail)組合而來的混成詞,意思為「琺瑯寶石」。當時,羅傑.馬爾埃布-納瓦爾(Roger Malherbe-Navarre,1908–2006)的工作室Les Gemmaux de France在法國畫家尚.克洛蒂(Jean Crotti,1870–1958)所創的發光箱加以創作,將玻璃片層疊成畫。

畢加索對「gemmail」玻璃畫工匠的精湛組裝及熔合技法驚嘆不已,稱之為「一種新藝術的誕生」。他先選取作品《坐在藤椅上的女人》(展品編號5)、自畫像《Yo》(展品編號1)和《阿爾及爾的女人》(展品編號10),使用玻璃畫的形式把這些畫作重新呈現,隨後便持續以這種透光材料進行創作,最終完成了六十幅經典之作。透過這項創新技術,他運用玻璃畫的光影和富現代感的效果,營造出璀璨豐富的畫面,尤其是他的立體主義作品。其他立體派畫家,如喬治.布拉克(George Braque,1882–1963),與畢加索一樣也對玻璃畫的透光感和立體感著迷。




日常生活的一切都成為畢加索的靈感泉源,無論是他的愛人、孩子或畫室裡的常用物品。他的畫作蘊藏著關於其個人生命歷程的點滴,傳達了當刻的情感和心境。正如他的肖像畫並非僅是對人物的直接描繪一樣,其靜物畫也絕非單純對物件組合的呈現。《A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933–1943》(Knopf出版社,美國紐約,2021 )於作者約翰.理查森(John Richardson)離世後出版。他寫道靜物畫是畢加索的熱情所在,而且「比起歷史上任何藝術家,畢加索最終實現了更徹底的探索並創作出更具想像力的作品。」作畫題材只是一種藉口,而藝術家以此為由可以探索未知的感知過程和表達手法。因此,畢加索對相同或相似的物件進行了多次排列並重複描繪,每一個步驟有條不紊,甚至乎有些執著。畢加索筆下的靜物從多個視角呈現,並將物件分解為碎片化、扁平化的平面組成,這種表現手法開闢了一種全新的藝術語言。

最後一提,觀者可以通過作品《鴿子靜物畫》(展品編號15)一窺畢加索聞名於世的立體派畫風,而他的抽象藝術則在肖像畫《梳頭的女人》(展品編號7)中得到體現。畢加索為畫中人物,即他的愛人、繆斯——藝術家朵拉.瑪爾(Dora Maar,1907–1997)——創作了無數肖像畫。是次展覽《巴勃羅.畢加索:玻璃畫像》精選十九幅作品,是畢加索所完成的五十幅玻璃畫的百分之三十八。這對於向公眾展示畢加索跨領域的創作成果具有深遠的意義。


Self-portrait (Yo), Gemmail, 54.5 × 35 cm, France, 1954–1957,

Private collection

自畫像《Yo》,玻璃畫,54.5 × 35厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Self-portrait (Yo).png

Picasso’s Yo is highly important – despite its comparatively small size – both for being selected by the painter to be among his gemmeaux and for being strikingly different from other self-portraits. The gemmail version beautifully represents the moody colours derived from the painting, currently held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Executed in an expressionist manner, with rapid minimal brushstrokes, it is infused with intense emotion. Seemingly unfinished, the artist’s signature attests to the fact that this was the intention.


Deeply impressed by Rome on a trip with Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet company in 1917, Picasso began painting monumental figures inspired by antiquity. His new classical style was influenced by the finely modelled odalisques of French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867) and the late, oddly proportioned, female nudes of French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919). In 1921, Pablo Picasso became a first-time father, of Paulo Picasso (1921–1975), when he was forty. His wife was the famous Russian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova (1891–1955). Between 1921 and 1923 he produced at least twelve works on the subject of mothers and children.

畢加索在1917年跟隨謝爾蓋.狄亞基列夫(Sergei Diaghilev,1872–1929)所創立的俄羅斯芭蕾舞團到訪羅馬,受當地的古典美學啟發,開始繪畫巨幅人像。尚-奧古斯特-多米尼卡.安格爾(Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres,1780–1867)精心刻畫的宮女體態,以及皮埃爾-奧古斯特.雷諾阿(Pierre-Auguste Renoir,1841–1919)晚期筆下比例奇特的女性裸體,皆對畢加索的古典主義風格影響甚深。1921年,畢加索初為人父,其時年屆四十。他的兒子名叫保羅.畢加索(Paulo Picasso,1921–1975)。他的妻子是著名俄羅斯芭蕾舞蹈員歐嘉.蔻克洛娃(Olga Khokhlova,1891–1955)。1921至1923年間,畢加索創作了至少12幅以母子為題的作品。


Mother and child (Mère et enfant), Gemmail, 99.8 × 73.5 cm, France, 1954–1957,  
Private collection

《母嬰》,玻璃畫,99.8 × 73.5厘米,法國,1954–1957,私人收藏

Woman with pigeons.png

Woman with pigeons or Farmer woman on a ladder (La femme aux pigeons ou Fermière à l’échelle),

Gemmail, 111.5 × 96.5 cm, France, 1954–1957 , Private collection 

《撫鴿之女》或《梯上的農婦》,玻璃畫,111.5 × 96.5厘米,法國1954–1957年私人收藏 

La femme aux pigeons is an iconic work created between 1919 and 1930 that exemplifies the period of relative peace and comfort, and a flourishing of the arts in France between the two World Wars. The composition depicts Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909–1977), a young French model who Picasso met in January 1927. She became his partner and model for more than ten years. During this time, most of his paintings and sculptures of nudes and bathing women were inspired by her statuesque body. This portrait shows her tenderly caressing a pigeon, a symbol of the painter himself. Picasso’s father, Don Jose Ruiz (1838–1913), an accomplished artist and educator, had painted pigeons as a favourite subject, and it is likely that Picasso grew up with this animal as a motif in his father’s paintings. A sentimental topic for the artist, the original drawing was painted and woven into a tapestry, and is a notable choice to be interpreted in gemmail.

《撫鴿之女》創作於1919至1930 年間,反映相對和平舒適的時代風格,可見法國藝術在兩次世界大戰之間的繁榮發展。畫中人物是瑪麗-泰瑞莎.華特(Marie-Thérèse Walter,1909–1977)。這位年輕的法國模特兒和畢加索於1927年1月認識,她成為他的伴侶和模特兒,度過了長達十多年的時光。在這段時間,她雕像般的身姿啟發了畢加索創作許多繪畫和雕塑,包括以女性裸體和沐浴場景為題的作品。這幅作品描繪她溫柔地撫摸著一隻鴿子,而這隻鴿子象徵畫家本人。畢加索的父親唐.荷西.魯伊斯(Don Jose Ruiz,1838–1913)是一位畫家、教師,尤好繪畫鴿子。畢加索可能從小就經常接觸到父親的作品,因此對這個畫題非常熟悉,甚至認為這是深繫情感的題材。因此,原作除了被編織成掛毯外,亦無疑成為了以玻璃畫形式重新演繹之選。


This portrait displays a delicate and tender feel, showcasing an intricate interplay of light, particularly on the model’s face and the arms of the chair. Moreover, the light effectively delineates the space of the minimal Cubist background.


Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter .png

Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Gemmail, 74.5 × 62.5 cm, France, 1954–1957,

Private collection 

《瑪麗-泰瑞莎.華特肖像》,玻璃畫,74.5 × 62.5厘米,法國,1954–1957年,



Seated woman or Woman in a wicker chair (Femme assise ou Femme dans un fauteuil d’osier), Gemmail, 95.5 × 76 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《坐著的女人》或《坐在藤椅上的女人》,玻璃畫,95.5 × 76厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

This early portrait of Dora Maar (1907–1997) is the first gemmail signed by Picasso. Picasso extensively painted Dora Maar, herself an accomplished photographer and painter, during the ten years of their relationship (1935–1945). Femme dans un fauteuil d’osier features Picasso’s iconic distortions, vivid colours and dynamic depiction of the sitter’s body. In this difficult period, which encompassed the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939) and the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Dora’s features became a vehicle through which Picasso could explore his own emotions, channelling his fear and anguish into increasingly distorted visions of her form.

這幅作品是畢加索描繪朵拉.瑪爾(Dora Maar,1907–1997)的肖像畫,屬早期之作,也是畢加索首幅署名的玻璃畫作品。朵拉.瑪爾是一名出色的攝影師及畫家,她與畢加索交往的十年間(1935–1945),她的形象經常出現於畢加索的畫作中。《坐在藤椅上的女人》展示了畢加索標誌性的扭曲視角、强烈生動的色彩,以及對模特兒身體的動態演繹。在西班牙內戰(1936–1939)和德國佔領巴黎(1940–1944)的困難時期,朵拉的容貌成為畢加索探索自身情感的媒介,將他的恐懼和痛苦,轉化為對朵拉的形體日益扭曲的想像。


Painted in 1941, Femme assise dans un fauteuil reveals Picasso’s fascination for female portraits, a theme that permeates his entire oeuvre. As the tensions of the late 1930s developed into open conflicts that led to World War II (1939–1945), Picasso’s visual language translated the anxiety of the times. These emotions are most keenly felt in the portraits of his muse and lover during the war, Dora Maar. The surrealist photographer and painter Dora Maar inspired some of the greatest portraits of Picasso’s career.



Woman sitting in a chair  (Femme assise dans un fauteuil), Gemmail, 95.5 × 76 cm,

France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《坐在椅子上的女人》,玻璃畫,95.5 × 76厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏


Woman combing her hair or Nude woman combing her hair (Femme se coiffant  ou Femme nue se coiffant),

Gemmail, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《梳頭的女人》或《梳頭的裸女》,玻璃畫,135.5 × 96厘米,法國 1954–1957年,私人收藏

While Picasso painted many portraits of his lovers and muses, such as Dora Maar, the subject of hair holds a special significance. Also, the anxiety of World War II is palpable in the distorted composition of the painting this gemmail is modelled after. Picasso created a Cubist work by experimenting with juxtaposition and the omission of body parts. With the red lips, accented eyes and angular strokes, this portrait translates into more of a scene of tragedy than intimacy. The painter provides the figure with a monumental character, with light falling on specific body parts, notably the breast, neck, arm and facial features.



Bust of a woman (Study of young ladies of Avignon) 
Buste de femme (Etude pour Les demoiselles d’Avignon), Gemmail, 73 × 66 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《女子胸像》(《亞維儂的少女》習作)玻璃畫,73 × 66厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏


This depiction of a woman is a study for Picasso’s 1907 painting Les demoiselles d’Avignon. For this composition, the artist prepared several drawn or painted studies in which he radicalised his formal language. In this example, the treatment of the garment over a voluptuous body reflects the influence of French Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), while the abstract rendering of the woman’s face is reminiscent of an oval mask with a triangular-shaped nose, an influence of Iberian art and of the African masks Picasso discovered in the Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadéro in Paris.

畢加索於 1907 年創作《亞維儂的少女》,這幅畫像為該作品的習作之一。為了構思畫面,藝術家曾經繪製多張草稿和圖畫,試圖顛覆傳統的視覺表現手法。畫中人物的體態豐滿性感,衣服的處理顯然受到法國畫家保羅.塞尚(Paul Cézanne,1839–1906)的影響,可見印象派的畫風。而女人的臉部則以抽象的演繹方法呈現,濃縮成橢圓的面具和三角形的鼻子,靈感源自畢加索在巴黎特羅卡德羅民族博物館所見的伊比利亞藝術和非洲面具。


In 1920, the theme of two women or two nudes began to appear regularly in Picasso’s work. His theme exists in several versions in which, for example, specific hand gestures are a recurring element that evolve over time. This composition is based on a drawing and is indicative of the softer tone the painter employed when working in pastel or gouache and crayon on paper. The gemmail presents a finely nuanced selection of glass that achieves the soft gradient colours.


Two women or Two nudes  (Deux femmes ou Les deux nus),

Gemmail, France, 1954–1957, Private collection 


玻璃畫,102.5 × 77.5厘米,法國,1954–1957,私人收藏


Women of Algiers (Les femmes d’Alger), Gemmail, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《阿爾及爾的女人》,玻璃畫,110 × 143厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso was inspired by the works of artists he admired. Women of Algiers is a tribute to Eugène Delacroix’s (1798–1863) romantic and orientalist painting Femmes d’Alger dans leur appartement (The women of Algiers in their apartment) of 1834. In 1954–1955, following the death of Henri Matisse (1869–1954), Picasso began creating a series of fifteen paintings and numerous drawings with ‘oriental’ subjects inspired by Matisse’s voluptuous women known as odalisques. The painter felt he inherited the subject from his lifelong friend and rival. ‘When Matisse died, he left his odalisques to me as a legacy’, joked Picasso. This new direction and Picasso’s famed Les femmes d’Alger coincide precisely with what is considered a crucial period of his painting, and the time when the painter chose to collaborate with Roger Malherbe-Navarre.

畢加索從他欽佩的藝術家獲得不少啟發。他以《阿爾及爾的女人》向歐仁.德拉克羅瓦(Eugène Delacroix,1798–1863)於1843年繪畫的《公寓裏阿爾及爾的女人》致敬。該作品創作於1834年,體現了德拉克羅瓦的浪漫主義及東方主義創作風格。在1954至 1955年間, 畢加索從亨利.馬諦斯(Henri Matisse,1869–1954)的宮女畫作中獲得靈感,創作了一系列共十五幅作品和大量畫稿,該系列以「東方」題材為主。馬諦斯是畢加索的好友和競爭對手。在馬諦斯去世後,畢加索認為他需要繼承好友的創作主題。他曾開玩笑說:「當馬諦斯去世時,他將他的 『宮女』當作遺產留了給我。」值得注意的是,畢加索創作《阿爾及爾的女人》時,是他的繪畫生涯中的一個關鍵時期,也是他選擇與羅傑.馬爾埃布-納瓦爾合作之時。


Woman with a fan (Femme à l’éventail), Gemmail, 92.5 × 84.5 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《持扇的女人》,玻璃畫,92.5 × 84.5厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso explored the theme of women holding fans in several paintings, spanning different periods and aesthetics. The painting that this gemmail was modelled after, Woman with a fan, together with other Picasso paintings now in the Pushkin collection (Moscow), such as Queen Isabeau, belongs to Picasso’s African period, which were all influenced by an extensive study of African tribal art and sculpture. Both paintings date to 1909, and the subjects are made up of almost exclusively geometric shapes, a stylistic feature of the early, analytical period of Picasso’s Cubism. This subject shows a lady holding a fan executed in sparsely coloured variations. The painting made a particular impression on Russian critics and philosophers, who linked Woman with a fan with the image of the ‘Beautiful Lady’, the enigmatic ‘Stranger’ from the world of Russian and French poetry of the early twentieth century. It was one of Picasso’s first Cubist works in Paris to be acquired by Russian businessman and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art collector Sergei Shchukin (1854–1936).

在不同時期,畢加索依據各種美學來創作,畫作呈現多種風格,當中不乏以持扇女人為題的作品。這幅玻璃畫按照《持扇的女人》來創作。該作品連同位於俄羅斯莫斯科的普希金美術館所藏的其他畢加索畫作,包括《伊薩博王后》,皆創作於畢加索的非洲時期——其時他致力研究非洲部落的藝術和雕塑,涉獵廣泛,深受啟發。這兩幅作品可追溯至 1909年,畫中人物形象幾乎完全由幾何形狀組成,體現了畢加索早期「分析立體派」的風格特點。此圖像以稀疏的色塊及色調變化來描繪一位手持扇子的女子。在二十世紀初的俄羅斯和法國詩壇,流行著關於美麗而神秘的陌生女性的詩歌作品。《持扇的女人》正正讓人聯想起這種題材,因此它對俄羅斯的評論家和哲學家留下了深刻印象。這幅原作是畢加索在巴黎創作的早期立體派作品之一,由熱愛收藏印象派和後印象派繪畫的俄羅斯商人謝爾蓋.舒金(Sergei Shchukin,1854–1936)購入。


Queen Isabeau (La reine Isabeau), Gemmail, 95 × 75 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《伊薩博王后》,玻璃畫,95 × 75厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Isabeau of Bavaria (or Isabelle; also Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt; c. 1370–1435) was Queen of France from 1385 to 1422. Picasso’s rendering of her portrait differs from that of his many personal acquaintances, as the artist likens her depiction to a wooden sculpture. The painter created a decorative work that depicts a beautiful medieval lady in a dress with intricate patterns reminiscent of medieval painterly depictions of landscapes, a woman’s headdress in the spirit of medieval fashion and a fruit bowl that evokes associations with lancet Gothic forms. All of these elements are rendered in a colour scheme of muted greenish, silvery-grey, ochre and brownish tones resembling a faded medieval tapestry. Picasso uses Gothic stylistic features to create a figurative structure for the work, while also employing smooth, rounded arabesques and the fractured lines typical of Cubism.


畫中主角是巴伐利亞的伊薩博(Isabeau of Bavaria),亦稱巴伐利亞-因戈爾斯塔特的伊莉莎白(Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt,約1370–1435),1385至1422年為法國王后。 這幅肖像中的人物形象呈現出如同木雕般的視覺效果,與畢加索繪畫他所認識的人物的方式截然不同。他以極富裝飾性的畫面呈現一位美麗的中世紀女士,她身穿一件帶有精緻圖案的禮服,引起對中世紀風景畫的聯想。她戴著一頂符合中世紀時尚的頭飾,而畫中的水果碗則使人聯想起哥德式藝術的尖拱形。這些元素都以柔和的灰綠色、銀灰色、赭色和褐色調描繪,恍如已褪色的中世紀掛毯。畢加索利用哥德風格的元素,在畫面上創造具象繪畫的形態。他同時使用了光滑、圓潤的蔓藤花紋,以及立體派的典型破碎線條。


Composition with skull or Still life with skull (Composition à la tete de mort or Nature morte à la tête de mort),

116.5 × 90.5 cm, Gemmail, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《骷顱頭作品》或《骷顱頭靜物畫》,玻璃畫,116.5 × 90.5厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

This scene evokes the tradition of the seventeenth-century Dutch still life paintings known as vanitas. The name of these compositions comes from the Old Testament’s Book of Ecclesiastes (1:2), ‘Vanitas vanitatum . . . et omnia vanitas’ (‘Vanity of vanities . . . all is vanity’). Vanitas depictions comment on worldly pleasures and the inevitability of death through objects that function symbolically. The book traditionally alludes to excessive pride through learning and the wine jug to worldly pleasures. The skull is a memento mori, a reminder of the inevitable approach of death. Picasso was superstitious about death and kept a skull in his studio. He started including human and animal skulls in his work as early as 1908. The vivid palette and Cubist brushstrokes illustrate the varied influences, from Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) to Georges Braque (1882–1963), and demonstrate the evolution of Picasso’s painting.

畫中場景讓人聯想到十七世紀荷蘭靜物畫——虛空畫(vanitas)。這一詞源自舊約聖經的《傳道書》(1:2):「虛空中的虛空……凡事都是虛空」。虛空畫通過具有象徵意義的靜物描寫,探討世俗的歡愉和死亡的必然性。傳統來説,構圖裏的書本提醒世人學習知識會使人自傲,而酒壺則象徵世俗的歡愉。骷顱頭乃象徵死亡,警示世人死亡是不可避免的。出於與死亡相關的迷信和想像,畢加索在其工作室放置了一個骷顱頭。早在 1908年,他已經開始在作品中描繪人類和動物的骷顱頭。這幅作品的生動色調和立體派筆觸反映了保羅.塞尚(Paul Cézanne,1839–1906)及喬治.布拉克(Georges Braque,1882–1963)對畢加索的各種影響,並展示了其畫風的演變。


Still life with antique head or Still life with black head (Nature morte à la tête antique ou Nature morte à la tête noire),

Gemmail, 68.5 × 90.5 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《古董頭像靜物畫》或《黑色頭像靜物畫》,靜物畫,玻璃畫,68.5 × 90.5厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

The painted version of this composition dates to 1925, a year of great artistic inventiveness for Picasso that gave rise to brightly coloured paintings charged with decorative motifs. ln counterpoint to these, the artist also painted compositions with muted tones and flowing lines, like Still life with antique head, with its elegant chromatic range. Close to French writer and poet André Breton’s (1896–1966) group at the time, as well as the German-French sculptor Jean Arp’s (1886–1966) Surrealist oeuvre, Picasso declared that he was not a Surrealist, but used Surrealism as a method of painting.

這幅作品的彩繪版本可追溯至1925年,那是畢加索充分發揮其創新精神的一年,當時他創作了多幅充滿裝飾圖案、色彩鮮艷的畫作。另一邊廂,他還創作了一些色調柔和、線條流暢的作品,譬如這幅色調優雅的《古董頭像靜物畫》。那時畢加索與法國作家及詩人安德烈.布勒東(André Breton,1896–1966)的圈子關係密切,並受德裔法國雕塑家尚.阿爾普(Jean Arp,1886–1966)的超現實主義作品影響。畢加索宣稱他不是超現實主義者,但他會採用超現實主義作為繪畫方式。


Still life with pigeon  (Nature morte au pigeon) , Gemmail, 70.5 × 85 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《鴿子靜物畫》,玻璃畫,70.5 × 85厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso composed this work in November 1941 during World War II. He returned to his pre-war theme of birds—here a white pigeon—presented as an aerial view lying on its back on a table top. The metallic colour of the bird is reminiscent of the body and wings of a war plane and the reds and yellows of the tabletop call to mind the Spanish national colours.



Still life with yellow pot  (Nature morte au pot jaune), Gemmail, 103 × 129 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《黃色瓶子靜物畫》玻璃畫,103 × 129厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso’s still life paintings are renowned worldwide for the artist’s demonstrated ambition to paint objects as he feels them, not as he sees them. Every event and aspect of life served as inspiration for Picasso, whether it be his lovers and children or utilitarian items in the studio. Each artwork conveys autobiographical information, relaying the artist’s emotion and state of mind. Just as a portrait by the artist is never a straightforward depiction of a sitter, a still life is never a meaningless assortment of objects. Picasso was passionate about creating still life paintings and worked methodically to render objects with an entirely new artistic language, composed of fragmented, flattened planes, and portrayed from multiple viewpoints.



Pitcher and tomato plant  (Carafe et plant de tomate), Gemmail, 76 × 96 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《水壺和番茄盆栽》,玻璃畫,76 × 96厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

This gemmail is made after a painting from a series of five oil paintings created before the Liberation of the French capital by the Allied forces towards the end of World War II (1939–1945). It symbolises the resistance and victory of ‘good’ in Europe. Aesthetically, the plant stands in front of a Cubist puzzle, typical of one of Picasso’s visual languages. A sentiment of hope and the positive energy of growth and fertility (akin to the summertime during which it was painted) infuses this work and distinguishes it from other still life paintings by Picasso in the war period. The plant also suggests that food is about to be available again, after long years of hardship. Picasso deliberately included symbols alluding to topics related to the war without wanting to document current affairs in a photojournalistic manner.



Still life with gourd  (Nature morte à la gourde), Gemmail, 71 × 60 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《葫蘆靜物畫》,玻璃畫,71 × 60厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso’s Still life with gourd is indicative of the impact that the painter’s dialogue with Braque and the influence of Cezanne had on his work. Furthermore, it is notable that the painted version of this composition was in the collection of Gertrude Stein (1874–1946), who corresponded with Picasso for decades and was intimately familiar with his work. Her early patronage and friendship was critical to Picasso’s success. The famous American writer was among the first in North America to embrace European avant-garde art. She organised weekly salons in her Paris apartment that were attended by European and American artists and writers alike. 

畢加索的《葫蘆靜物畫》顯示了畫家與布拉克的交流,以及塞尚對他的作品產生的影響。值得注意的是,原作曾為著名美國作家葛楚德.史坦(Gertrude Stein,1874–1946)珍藏。她與畢加索來往數十年,對他的作品非常熟悉。她早期對畢加索的支持和與他的友誼對藝術家的成功起了關鍵性的作用。史坦是北美地區最早支持歐洲前衛藝術的藏家及藝術贊助人之一。她每週在巴黎的公寓舉辦沙龍,來自歐洲和美國的藝術家和作家都會參與其中。


Bullfight (Course de taureaux), Gemmail, 82 × 113 cm, France, 1954–1957, Private collection

《鬥牛》,玻璃畫,82 × 113厘米,法國,1954–1957年,私人收藏

Picasso went to the Malaga bullring in his native Spain from an early age, and remained an avid follower of bullfights after moving to Provence in France, where he regularly attended events in the arenas of Arles, Nîmes and Vallauris. In his work, the painter frequently depicted bullfights—notably in the mid-1950s—the period when he was collaborating with Roger Malherbe-Navarre. The scene rendered in this depiction shows the tragic fate of the animals, both the horse the picador was riding and the bull, whose corpses are in the foreground. In the background the corrida continues with another bull and picador on horseback. The sun highlights the far background of this composition, and notably creates a play on light the artist has impressively executed in gemmail, creating a back-lit panel that beautifully suggests a warm afternoon atmosphere on this action-filled day.


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