It is a painting allegedly given by the Malagasy genius to his friend and colleague Paul Klee, showing a rattlesnake surrounding the face of the Nazi president.
In Italy there is a painting attributed to Picasso, in which the genius from Malaga caricatures Adof Hitler and pays tribute to his friend and colleague Paul Klee. Annalisa Di Maria, a member of the Committee of Experts in Art and Literature at the UNESCO Center in Florence, assures her that there is no doubt in her mind that it is a work by Picasso. But he acknowledges that “the work cannot be attributed to him with certainty at the moment” and that “the painting will have to be examined more closely”. If the Picasso authorship is confirmed, it would be a piece of great value.
For Di Maria, it is a painting that Picasso is said to have given to Klee, one of the artists most persecuted by the Nazis, although the canvas does not appear in any of the catalogs of the works of “degenerate art” used by the Nazis. have been stolen or confiscated. It is a “very uncomfortable” painting because it ridicules the figure of the Fuhrer, which would explain why it was kept hidden. Painted in the style of Klee, it is beyond sarcastic with the genocidal German president whose face appears to be surrounded by a rattlesnake and with swastikas at the ends.
Klee and Picasso were friends and admired each other. They are known to have met at least twice and in 1914 Klee created a work in tribute to Picasso. It is believed that the Spanish painter would do the same with this painting, which belongs to the private collection of an Italian family, one of whose ancestors worked in a train station, where the fabric is said to have been found.
The first studies of the pigments carried out at the University of Ascoli Piceno, in central Italy, date between 1935 and 1937 of the work entitled ‘The Eye of the Serpent’ – because of the rattlesnake that forms the contour marks from the face of the dictator Di María explains that if Picasso’s authorship is confirmed, we would be faced with an exceptional discovery and a great example of Picasso’s determined opposition and struggle against Hitler.
The author caricatures Hitler including some intolerable elements for the Führer and the Nazi regime, such as facial makeup, lipstick, and a pipe, as Hitler hated tobacco. The word ‘Schweigen’ (shut up in German) appears written on his lips, which can have different interpretations, such as the desire to keep the work secret, to avoid the persecution of the author by the Nazis, or to avoid the persecution and censorship exercised by the National Socialist regime.
Although the piece is not signed, after analysis, calligraphic expert Stefano Fortunati emphasized that the first ‘S’ of ‘Schweigen’ coincides with Picasso’s handwriting. For Di Maria, there are many elements that would reveal the Malagasy painter’s authorship, such as the shape of the eyes or lips which are “the same” as those also found in the portrait he made of Joseph Stalin, although the painting is “a hybrid” between the pictorial features of the artist from Malaga and those of Klee, as it was intended as a gift to the Swiss-German artist.
Di Maria adds that the analysis of the painting showed that Picasso used chemical elements at the time and that they have discolored slightly over time and needed retouching. “The work deserves to be known, re-examined and seen by other experts to appreciate its importance. It is without doubt one of the most important works of the 20th century as a critic of Nazism. A testimony of dissent, bearer of the truth of the horrors perpetrated by one of the bloodiest dictators in history. Only a genius and a master of expressionism with a deep sense of poignant irony could have made such a painting.”
Source: La Verdad
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