CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Picasso’s Drawings, 1890-1921. Reinventing Tradition


Susan Grace Galassi and Marilyn McCully


300 pages; 200 color illustrations; hardcover with jacket; 22,5 x 28 cm


English; published by Yale University Press with major support from the CSA; 2012





Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) is acknowledged as one of the greatest draftsmen of the twentieth century. Picasso’s Drawings, 1890–1921 follows the dazzling development of his drawing practice from the precocious academic exercises of his youth in the 1890s to the virtuoso classical works of the early 1920s. A selection of more than seventy works on paper, with extended entries, highlights his stylistic experiments and techniques during this roughly thirty-year period, which begins and ends in a classical mode and encompasses his most radical innovation.

This book brings to the fore Picasso’s engagement with artists of the past and the ways in which he perpetuated, competed with, and ultimately reinvented the practices of his artistic mentors on his own terms. Through emulation, allusion, dissection, and outright hijacking, Picasso continued the grand tradition of drawing in a revitalized form. Picasso’s Drawings reveals the extent to which the artist relied on drawing as a means of synthesizing past and present, tradition and innovation, to give his own art a bold and vigorous expression.

Susan Grace Galassi is currently senior curator at The Frick Collection. She has coordinated numerous traveling exhibitions. A specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, she has published Picasso’s Variations on the Masters, Confrontations with the Past (1996) and contributed to different publications on the artist. 

Marilyn McCully is an independent scholar who specializes in the work of Picasso. She has co-curated with Michael Raeburn the exhibition Picasso: Ceramics and Tradition (Malaga, 2010–11) and has curated Feasting on Paris. Picasso, 1900–1907 (Barcelona, 2011).