The Easel

Archives: The Art Newspaper

3rd July 2018

Do not allow art to cleanse crimes

After some market chitchat, this piece gets serious about Picasso. A 1905 work portrays a child prostitute, whose services Picasso probably used. “A pretence is created that in painting her, Picasso was a disinterested, compassionate observer of her plight … I’m not in favour of judging the past by contemporary standards, but we allow art to cleanse even the worst crimes. We shouldn’t.”