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Sea Creatures
  • Artist Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881 - 1973)
  • TitleSea Creatures
  • Dating 1946
  • Technique/MaterialOil on cardboard
  • Dimensions51 x 66 cm
    Ram: 74 x 88 cm
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1949
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 1360
  • Rights and ReproductionSuccession Picasso/Bildupphovsrätt 2021©
  • Display StatusOn display in The Picasso Room (Room 21)
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
After the Second World War, Picasso left Paris and settled on the French Riviera, keeping out of the public eye. In Sea Creatures (1946), the Mediterranean, with its sunlight and abundance, is palpable. The painting is a marine still life: fish, eels, and sea urchins are laid out on a table with a large knife. The tabletop has been tipped up into the image plane. In the background are shutters that block out the sun and heat. Between them is an opening through which sunlight falls across the table and fish. The sunlight is rendered as a lighter column running through the image, which contributes to a rhythmizing of the composition. It is a highly simplified account, yet Picasso has still captured the light in the room, with the table in partial green-blue shadow and the sunlight glistening on the wet fish.

With The Young Ladies of Avignon, Picasso won himself a reputation as an enfant terrible who was intent on challenging bourgeois taste. But he was always firmly rooted in tradition, and often returned to the Old Masters throughout his œuvre. In Sea Creatures he has used a Modernist idiom for one of the classic motifs of art history.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014