Why do Picassos from 1917 Crack?

April 22 2021

Image of Why do Picassos from 1917 Crack?

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an interesting article exploring why Picasso's works from 1917 have deteriorated much quicker than other works from this period. The article uses data collected from a study by ProMeSa, a three-year research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. In particular, the project has been interested in a selection of works inspired by dancers and made while Picasso was working at a friend's studio in Barcelona during the year 1917.

According to the article:

Picasso used a canvas with a tighter weave for Hombre sentado (pictured), coating it with a thicker ground layer of animal glue, researchers found. Both factors meant larger internal stresses formed when the paintings were exposed to fluctuating humidity, while chemical reactions between certain pigments and binding media sparked chemical reactions that caused paints to degrade. As a result, the paints gradually cracked when stresses built...

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