Artist of the moment…….Francis Picabia

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Francis Picabia was a French artist born in the year 1879 in Paris, France. Over his career Picabia painted in a wide variety of styles including Surrealism, Abstraction, and realism. I enjoy his realist works as much as the abstract works and feel he does a great job at capturing the look of beautiful women. The artist was not only a great painter, but also enjoyed working with the art of typography and even wrote poetry.

The artist worked in many mediums including watercolor, gouache, crayon, and oils.

Sadly the artist lost his mother due to tuberculosis when he was only seven years old.

When he was younger he took original oil paintings of his dad’s collection. His dad was an aristocrat by family name so the family was wealthy. Picabia the son copied the original paintings, replaced the ones in his dad’s collection  without the knowledge of the father, sold the originals and kept the money for himself.

Picabia attended a private atelier run by Fernand Cormon. Cormon was a painter of religious themes and classical realism. Below a fine example of his style.


Francis Picabia also attended the School of Decorative Arts located in Paris, France.

Started his painting career with the thought of painting in an Impressionistic style.

Francis Picabia was part of the Puteaux Group. You may remember the name as it contained the Duchamp brothers. I wrote about Jacques Villon who changed his name so as not to be confused with other artists in his family. The group met at the house and studio of Jacques Villon, his birth name was Gaston Emile Duchamp. The Puteaux Group’s main objective was to show the world the ” Cubist” way of painting.

Visited America and became taken by the 1913 Armory show and the style of Modernism. This way of painting soon faded for the artist and he returned to capturing the female face and figure.

In this clip a selection of works by Francis Picabia set to music:

Francis Picabia passed away in 1953.

Again with the great James Kalm we visit a show featuring the works of Francis Picablia:

price range information: At auction a piece sold for $1.6 million dollars.


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