This work has been requested for the Picabia retrospective to be held at the Kunsthaus Zürich from June to September 2016 and at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from November 2016 to March 2017.
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, La révolution Surréaliste, 2002
Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Francis Picabia, singulier idéal, 2002-03, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
London, Tate Modern & Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia, 2008, no. 39, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Along with these two contrasting, expressive themes, Picabia’s Transparences also took their inspiration from Romanesque Frescos, Renaissance painting and Catalan art. The ‘Lamb of the Apocalypse’ was drawn directly from a fresco painted circa 1123 in the church of Sant Climent de Taüll which is now installed in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona (fig. 1). This monstrous image was taken from the account of the Apocalypse given in the Book of Revelations: ‘Lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth’ (Revelations, Ch. 5, v. 6). Jennifer Mundy has suggested that the Lamb's unusual appearance may have an additional significance for Picabia: 'its echo of the effects of blurred photography added a modern element for an artist who in this period wanted to transcend hackneyed distinctions between old and new' (J. Mundy in Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., p. 20).
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