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I own a video cassette copy of a film (The Mystery of Picasso) showing Pablo Picasso painting on a plate of glass, filmed from the opposite side. As an oil painter myself, I found it utterly mesmerizing! I was delighted when I found an earlier film on YouTube (in 2 parts below) showing similar footage of Picasso at work in his studio sixty-three year ago, in 1949. (This film is nearly as old as I am!)
Visit to Picasso is a Belgian documentary film from 1949 directed by Belgian filmmaker Paul Haesaerts. In an effort to capture the nature of Picasso’s creative process, Paul Haesaerts asked the Spanish painter to apply his magical brushstrokes to large glass plates as Haesaerts filmed from the other side. This actually predates the more famous art film The Mystery of Picasso (1956) by Henri-Georges Clouzot in which Picasso also paints to large transparent canvases as the director films from the other side. The filming took place in Picasso’s studio in Vallauris. In 1951 Visit to Picasso was nominated for best documentary by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). Even if you are not an artist or art connoisseur, you may appreciate this film.
Vivre la vie avec un esprit de l’art de!