Epistle to Picasso (1936) – EUGENI D’ORS 1936

D’Ors (Barcelona, ​​1881 – Vilanova i la Geltrú, 1954) a From here and there (VI-1936). Last article he did in Catalan. His expertise as an art critic was widely recognized. It was also the last issue of the magazine, which, according to Cirici Pellicer, was “one of the best published in the world.” The cover imagined for elitist readers a summer of 1936 that became unfortunate.

Good luck, Picasso, you who, in life and in legend, have flourished at the time of the social meteors for your most favorable art! Whether, at the same time, the aesthetic climate was becoming harsher than ever is another question … Who, however, will not admire the miracle of this great wave of public favor that painting has known everywhere, at the time of “The post-war period”, the whole length of which has practically replaced literature, to the attention of the people? There is even here one of the most curious phenomena in the history of culture. At what other stage — please tell me — had the personality of each of the artists been so strongly interested in his contemporaries? When had the fact occurred that the smallest fragment out of their hands was seen, as it is today, recorded, commented on, appreciated, complimented, disseminated in the knowledge of the multitudes? […] Look, I’m here, closed and forced to write to you, private until I go to meet you at Flora’s cafe, where you now spend, according to news, part of the vigils because, after writing twenty a thousand pages, in packs of 3 to 25 pages, it has been revealed to me how absolutely necessary it was for the salvation of my soul to give, however, some of 500 pages; without which, everything would remain as if I had not written anything … At the same time, I am afraid of the hour of judgment that will grant you, in the history of modern art, a magnificent role, yes, but exclusively functional and historical ; this is not what the admiration I have brought you since the beginning of my childhood, an admiration made of respect and not of astonishment, as in so many others … She alone would now come to stop- me, at this moment when I catch my breath, that I have so little time to say a sermon to you. And other than that, who would have seen without laughter, around 1890, Cézanne giving advice to Zola? It will be better to finish quickly, summing it all up in a way of shouting, where the encouragement is mixed with the demand, like those that the “fans” of the bullfights throw to the “swords”. This cry, however, would not lend itself too well to Catalan. Well thought out, it is yet another expressive repertoire that I will have to turn to. Perhaps I will remember the old Carolus-Duran, a carnival character, who had been a teacher in Paris of our Ramon Casas, and stopped, in Rome, as an actor of the French School in Villa-Medicis: – “Monsieur “Carolus-Duran ordered the newly arrived pensioners,”make a masterpiece! ”… -In Villa-Medicis, and coming from him, this was just a word of Carnival. But, within the tradition of the “Four Cats”, and among us, it gains all other gravity. Seriously, then, I want to tell you: “Pablo Picasso, make a masterpiece!” Believe me, it’s time. That will not take long for the two of us, in which it will no longer be much fun to confess that every disappointed masterpiece forms a passive game on account of our conscience.

Source: Ara.cat – Portada by www.ara.cat.

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