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A Hidden Picasso Bestiary
Picasso loved animals and they often made an appearance in his work. In 1937, he began to illustrate a special edition of Buffon's 'Histoire naturelle,' for Ambroise Vollard. The book included 31 etchings of animals, birds and insects.
Similarly, "The Unknown Masterpiece," contains numerous animal forms. Some of the images below have been empashized to show the forms more clearly. Here are a few examples of these concealed forms.

Fish, 1934 Drawing

laterally, along the compositions right-hand edge, a large, aggressive fish with a wide-open mouth has been concealed. Picasso often used this aquatic symbolism to represent his wife Olga.

Owl, 1934 Drawing

Here, within a mask worn by Olga, Picasso has hidden an inverted owl with large feet. The expertise needed to do this is self-evident.

Owl and Spider, 1934 Drawing

Another owl appears perched on his lover's shoulder below it a very large spider.

Snail, 1934 Drawing

A tiny snail forms the nostril of the mask worn by his wife, Olga.

All these animal forms have been very cleverly concealed and relate, in a symbolic sense, to the drawing's principal theme of death.

JPG image (33 K) Fish, 1934 Drawing
JPG image (34 K) Owl, 1934 Drawing
JPG image (12 K) Owl and Spider, 1934 Drawing
JPG image (12 K) Snail, 1934 Drawing
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