London, Aug 2: A masterpiece by Pablo Picasso, one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, is on display at Duff House, a Georgian mansion in Aberdeenshire.
Picasso’s Les Soles that went on display on Tuesday, rarely leaves Scotland’s National Gallery in Edinburgh because of its fragility.
But it loaned to Duff House in Banff by the National Galleries of Scotland for display until October 29, Xinhua news agency reported.
Les Soles, inspired by the bustling markets of the seaside town Royan, in France, depicts a crab and two fish, said to represent Picasso and two of his mistresses.
The work was painted during a three-month trip to Paris in March 1940 while the artist was still based in Royan, shortly before he fled his coastal retreat when it was occupied by Nazi troops during World War II.
Duff House, one of the finest mansions in Scotland, also played a part in World War II, being used as an internment camp, prisoner of war (POW) camp and a base for Norwegian allied troops.
Graeme Curran, manager of Duff House, which is operated by Historic Environment Scotland said: “We’re delighted that Duff House will host an artwork from one of the most iconic artists of the modern era. Banff, as a coastal town, seems a fitting location for exhibition of Picasso’s Les Soles, which so vividly draws inspiration from life by the sea.”
Hannah Brocklehurst, Scottish National Galleries Managing Curator for Duff House, said: “Owing to the fragility of the painting it rarely travels, and this will be the first time in many years that this has seen outside of Edinburgh. We are thrilled to be showing this important work in such a beautiful venue.”
Built for a wealthy businessman in the mid-1700s, Duff House fell into disrepair after World War II, and was eventually restored and reopened in 1995.
It now houses a collection of art by famous artists such as El Greco, Gainsborough, Raeburn as well as contemporary art.