Pablo Picasso: An Exhibition Unveils A Special Friendship

The exhibition, “A Dinner with Picasso,” offers a rare glimpse into the personal life of the legendary artist, Pablo Picasso, through photographs captured by Italian art collector Mario Bocchi during an iconic dinner in 1964. These images, never before displayed publicly, provide insight into the intimate moments shared between Picasso and his close circle of friends.

A Memorable Encounter

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the historic dinner hosted by Picasso and his wife, Jacqueline, at their home in Mougins, France. Mario Bocchi, alongside Renato Guttuso and other notable figures, engaged in lively discussions on art and politics, capturing the essence of the era’s intellectual fervor.

Capturing Picasso’s Essence

Mario Bocchi’s photographs reveal a side of Picasso rarely seen by the public. Through his lens, the Italian art lover immortalized the master artist in his private moments, showcasing a different dimension of Picasso’s personality beyond his public persona.

A Testament to Friendship

The friendship between Mario Bocchi and Pablo Picasso transcended artistic admiration; it was rooted in mutual respect and intellectual exchange. “A Dinner with Picasso” serves as a testament to this enduring bond, highlighting the profound influence Picasso had on Bocchi’s life and artistic journey.

Exploring Artistic Legacies

In addition to the photographs, the exhibition features a curated selection of documents, drawings, and personal memorabilia, offering visitors a comprehensive understanding of the artistic legacies of both Picasso and Bocchi. From letters to sketches, each artifact provides a window into the rich tapestry of their friendship and creative pursuits. Among the documents is the recollection of the unforgettable days that Bocchi spent in France with Picasso, immortalized in a small amateur film shot by Mario himself, around thirty photographs, as well as sketches, letters, and dedications addressed to him on objects, postcards, and precious materials that narrate the intimacy of his privileged relationships with artists and intellectuals of the time.

Foto di Renato Guttuso con la macchina fotografica di Mario Bocchi. Pablo Picasso con Mario Bocchi a Mougins nel mas Notre-dame-de-vie, febbraio 1964 (stampa da negativo originale) – ©Archivio Storico Bocchi

The narrative of the privileged friendship between Mario Bocchi and Pablo Picasso presented in the exhibition provides an opportunity to explore another significant theme: the grand dinners in art history. The title alludes to the importance of convivial moments and informal gatherings in the history of art. Many of the ideas that innovated or reinvented art in the 20th century were born from artists, poets, and writers who gathered in taverns, inns, bistros, or their studios to drink and eat, ultimately giving rise to new artistic expressions or inventing neologisms like “cubism.” “A Dinner with Picasso” is hosted by APE Parma Museo and promoted by Fondazione Monteparma in collaboration with the Archivio Storico Bocchi. The exhibition is open to the public until July 31.