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Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973

Hercule tue la centaure Nessus (Hercules Killing the Centaur Nessus), for Ovid’s Les métamorphoses

September 20, 1930

Etching

platemark: 31.1 × 22.1 cm (12 1/4 × 8 11/16 in.) sheet: 34 × 26.2 cm (13 3/8 × 10 5/16 in.)
Katharine Ordway Fund
1983.60
Picasso used the commission to illustrate Ovid’s Métamorphoses to explore and subvert two interrelated structural aspects of the illustrated book: the margin and the frame. Thirty of the 145 copies of the Métamorphoses illustrations contain remarques, or small marginal sketches Picasso etched below the framing edge of the images, as in the young boy reading who appears in the Hercules print here. Often these marginal images are completely independent of both the framed images and their corresponding text. As such, they suggest the doodles, scribbles, and experiments of the drawing hand, unconstrained by the demands of narrative.
Geography: 
Made in France
Status: 
By appointment
Culture: 
Spanish
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Purchased in 1983 by Gallery from William H. Schab Gallery, 11 E. 57 Street, NYC

Bibliography: 

Susan Greenberg Fisher et al., Picasso and the Allure of Language, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009), 97, 112–18, no. 13, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.