Alistair Sooke explains the fascination with the Le Guennec trove of Picasso work that turned up this week. In the process, he puts together a plausible explanation that the electrician’s story is so far-fetched it may actually be true. Above all, the find provides a reminder of Picasso’s unparalleled fecundity as an artist:
As the preeminent artistic genius of the 20th century, Picasso has come to embody a pinnacle of creativity: vigorous, prolific, never standing still.
His inordinate and sustained artistic fertility is a marvel – he could turn his hand to almost any medium, and quickly master it. Few people can operate at the top of their game for very long, yet such was the primal energy that animated Picasso, he could work at fever pitch throughout his adult life, often producing more than one large canvas a day.
Extremely intelligent, he was aware of the phenomenal capacity of his powers — just as he was self-conscious about the ways in which he could transmute the stuff of his everyday life into art, such as the scraps of newspaper that he used in his wonderful Cubist collages .
Thus the idea that a substantial number of unknown works of art by Picasso might have come to light nearly four decades after his death is not quite as far-fetched as it might seem: after all, when he died in 1973, Picasso left behind an estate of more than 43,000 artworks, so the possibility that 271 of them might have gone missing isn’t entirely ridiculous.
Picasso: Still the Irrepressible Rogue of Art (Telegraph)