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The Mackerel, 1903
There are at least two related Picasso drawings in which an aquatic creature engages in sexual interaction with a woman.
The Mackerel, 1903

In The Unknown Masterpiece, there is a concealed and shocking variation of this.

The from the front of the leggings of the female on the right emerges the form of an open fish's mouth, out of which a long tongue extends. The tongue is a magical inversion of the woman's vagina.

It extends and appears to be lapping the vertical black column in the centre of the composition. The column, due to its placement, seems to represent an enormous flow of blood gushing from the dark, almond shaped area within the central figure's abdomen.


This almond-shape symbolizes the wound of the "coup de grace" at the crucifixion. In one of Picasso's crucifixion studies of 1938, a female figure can be seen ecstatically drinking the blood of Christ's wound in a similar fashion.

JPG image (21 K) The Mackerel, 1903
JPG image (32 K) Tongue
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