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Picasso's Statement

When Picasso said "I paint forms as I think them not as I see them", what did he mean? Could you also give me a couple of examples as to how his ideas of art differed from those held by Renaissance artists?

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There are several variations of this quote that can be found in various texts. Another version is, "I paint objects as I think them, not how I see them." Another of the sayings attributed to him is, "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."

In my opinion, both of the above quotes address a core concept inherent in Picasso's work, quite simply, that he believed art was capable of teaching us a deeper truth than what we see in reality. For example, if one were to paint a photo-realistic likeness of a person sitting for a portrait, we as viewers might know very little about that person. Do we know if they are happy, sad, courageous or cowardly, whether he or she is a good parent, hungry or ill? Often, when one asks to have a portrait done, it is an idealized likeness. Families often gather and dress their best to sit for a family photograph. Do we know in this case if one of them is an artist? A doctor? Liberal or Conservative? Jewish or Christian? Certainly some artists will include clues to these facts (a crucifix necklace for example), but what do we really know about the soul of the subject? Similarly, landscapes or inanimate subject matter loses an important element when captured by a camera or recreated by an artist intent only on recording the visual elements of a scene. What about the heat of the day? What about the songs of birds or the scent of wildflowers? How many of us have returned from a vacation only to be somewhat disappointed in our vacation ...

Solution Summary

Picasso`s statement is examined. Renaissance artists are determined.