Picasso painting “The acrobat” in Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris”

Pablo Picasso, ‘The acrobat,’ January 18, 1930

Picasso Dreamed About Limbs


The Acrobat (1930) is a simple, surreal cartoon, almost comical in its minimalism. It’s practically a one-line drawing that was seemingly slapdashed off in a few minutes, offering a barely feasible depiction of the body’s pliability. With utmost economy (a black curve for an eye, a placid little ripple for a mouth), Picasso etches on his subject’s face an expression of Zen bliss, perhaps triggered by the realization that his entire body has become elongated legs and arms, which then reversed roles. How liberating…

Picasso reportedly often experienced dreams in which his limbs grew to absurd dimensions. With primitive suppleness, The Acrobat captures that sort of extravagant wish fulfillment, the byproduct of a mind that likely scarcely harbored a moment of self-doubt. This is phallic gigantism in extremis and a not-so-subtle announcement by Picasso that he can and will do whatever the hell he pleases.

If Picasso were a musician—he was the Miles Davis of painters, as commentators have asserted, right?—The Acrobat would be a non-LP B-side, an anomalous, nonchalant ditty that contains an otherwise unexpressed kernel of the artist’s idiosyncratic genius.


You can see this painting in San Francisco right now.

Picasso figures in two other art exhibitions, at SFMOMA and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and he’s also part of “Midnight in Paris,” the new Woody Allen movie, in which “L’acrobate,” which is in the de Young show, is well discussed.


Other posts concerning Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”

Movie Review of “Midnight in Paris” lastest movie by Woody Allen, July 30, 2011 – 6:52 am

Leo Stein and sister Gertrude Stein’s salon is in the Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris”, July 28, 2011 – 6:22 am

Great review on Midnight in Paris with talk about artists being disatisfied, July 27, 2011 – 6:20 am

Critical review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”, July 24, 2011 – 5:56 am

Not everyone liked “Midnight in Paris”, July 22, 2011 – 5:38 am

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am


(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am


 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

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