Pablo Picasso
The Three Dancers 1925

Artwork details

Pablo Picasso 1881–1973
The Three Dancers
Les Trois Danseuses
Date 1925
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2153 x 1422 mm
frame: 2232 x 1507 x 107 mm
Acquisition Purchased with a special Grant-in-Aid and the Florence Fox Bequest with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery and the Contemporary Art Society 1965

Display caption

The jagged forms of Three Dancers convey an explosion of energy. The image is laden with Picasso's personal recollections of a triangular affair, which resulted in the heart-broken suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas. Love, sex and death are linked in an ecstatic dance. The left-hand dancer in particular seems possessed by uncontrolled, Dionysian frenzy. Her face relates to a mask from Torres Strait, New Guinea, owned by the artist, and points to Picasso's association of 'primitive' forms with expressiveness and sexuality.

August 2004