The National Student
The third instalment of ITV’s Great Art aired this month. Presented by broadcaster and Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts, Tim Marlow, each episode offers an in-depth look at the lives and works of household names like Picasso, Goya, Munch, Monet, and Cézanne.
The programme goes behind the scenes at exhibitions at some of the world’s most prestigious galleries and uses this as a springboard to delve into each artist’s life, speaking to art historians, family members, and using letters and diary entries to fill in the details. As well as looking at these artists’ works, a significant part of each episode explores the artists’ influences – cities, families, lovers, friends.
The places these artists lived in had a huge impact on their work. Spanish poet Manuel Rivas said, “a man’s homeland is his childhood”, which is certainly true for Pablo Picasso. Born in Málaga, he also lived in La Coruña and Barcelona, and the social contrasts of the latter were an influence on his work, particularly the Blue Period. Picasso settled permanently in Paris in 1904, where he changed “completely” as an artist; the difference between the culture in the French capital compared to Barcelona was immense at this time.