Still Life in Front of an Open Window at Saint-Raphaël
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973
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Picasso made this watercolor in the summer of 1919 while vacationing with his first wife, Olga Koklova, in Saint-Raphaël on the French Riviera. The newlyweds shared a cramped room with a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The decorative ironwork of the balcony railings is clearly visible in this watercolor, in which a foreground table, with a fruit bowl and a guitar, is framed by a large window and silhouetted against a serene expanse of blue sea and sky. Juan Gris had similarly placed still-life elements before an open window as early as 1915, although Picasso's reprise of this theme was also indebted to his recent stage designs for the Ballets Russes.