Monash University
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Picasso and Stravinsky: Notes on the Road from Friendship to Collaboration

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-22, 05:34 authored by Carina Nandlal
In April 1917, under the warmth of the Italian Mediterranean sun, two modernist titans began a friendship that would lead to a special artistic collaboration. Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky were brought together as artists commissioned by Serge Diaghilev’s celebrated and notorious Ballets Russes. From 1917 until 1919 the pair engaged in an artistic dialogue
which formed the basis for their collaboration on Ragtime. The journey from friendship to collaborators and the fascinating artistic works this yielded are often neglected in the vast literature on each of these geniuses. I argue, however, that the works Picasso and Stravinsky produced in friendship from 1917 to 1919 reveal insights into their eventual collaboration on Ragtime, where each tried to capture the other’s medium in his own. Although Ragtime is a comparatively small work that is often considered incidental,
especially when compared to their ballet collaboration on Pulcinella (1920),
it is actually a crucial statement of artistic collaboration borne out of the intimacy
of friendship.


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