Chromatic values in Pablo Picasso’s early work: a comparison of hues in “Science and Charity” (1897) and its three oil sketches
This paper deals with the chromatic and colorimetric analysis of one of the most representative paintings by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) of his formative years, “Science and Charity” (Ciencia y Caridad, 1897), and its three oil sketches of the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. Picasso, among the modern painters, turned from a subdued chromatism to brilliantly varied palettes in the course of his career. Measured colorimetric values obtained from reflectance spectra of relevant areas are presented and the evolution of the tones and hues used by Picasso to enhance drama through the scenes represented in the four paintings selected is discussed. This study was carried out in the framework of an inter-institutional research project aimed to gain an insight into the failure mechanisms of modern and contemporary paintings.
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