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The Pregnancy Theme
"The Unknown Masterpiece" contains a number of allusions to pregnancy, a theme that Picasso incorporated into much of his early work.
In front of the hands of the female on the right there appears a sketchily-drawn embracing couple, a Picasso pregnancy motif. The couple appear to be located within a vaginal opening. Just above which is an anus which also represents the eye of a bull and the severed stump of the central figure's "flying arm."

The embracing couple is the subject of a number of early Picasso studies and paintings, mainly from around 1903. In that same year, Picasso sketched a nude sitting in a vaginal opening, in much the same way as described above. The configuration of an anus above a vagina, is also a common feature in Picasso's erotic works of the 1950's and 1960's, often depicting acrobatic nudes, displaying their genitalia.

The embracing couple's close proximity to the female on the right, appears to suggest adegree of sexual jealousy on the part of Olga, whom the right hand figure represents.

The female on the left, Picasso's mistress, looks pregnant. she is holding her belly in way which suggests she may be supporting the weight of an unborn child.

Another pregnancy image in the drawing is that of a baby's feeding bottle, overlaid in the ink wash, onto the torso of Picasso, the central figure.

Baby Bottle, 1934 Drawing

Wine Bottle, The Three DancersThe baby's bottle closely resembles the type of feeding bottles commonly used in France in the 1930's. It presence also bears a strong compositional relationship to a hidden image of a wine bottle, containing a female breast and the blade of a carving knife, in Picasso's famous painting, Three Dancers of 1925.

Fatherhood was a very important concept to Picasso. In his work he yearns for it, sometimes, as if in mourning. When it occurs in reality, he celebrates it, in a most loving and tender way.

These allusions to pregnancy in the 1934 drawing pose a chronological problem. Marie-Therese did not 'officially' become pregnant until 1935.

In an interview with an American art historian, Lydia Gasman, Marie-Thérèse, before she died, divulged certain personal information, which Gasman refused to publish. Picasso and Marie-Theres lied about the date of their first liaison to historians. There has even been the suggestion, based on research, that Marie-Thérèse met Picasso in 1925 when she was fifteen, indicating that they were probably involved in an illegal sexual relationship. There has also been speculation, based on the content of Picasso's drawings from the 1930's, that Marie-Therese may have had an abortion in that period. There is certainly a cryptic allusion to an abortion in "The Three Dancers" of 1925. As Marie-Therese did not "officially" meet Picasso until 1927, it seems very odd that her ortraits appear in Picasso's work as early as 1925 and that her initials "MTW" appear in drawings in 1926. Picasso history is full of discrepancies, due in large part to leading historians rewriting the facts to serve vested interests, or to gloss over previous errors.

JPG image (16 K) Baby bottle, 1934 Drawing
JPG image (8 K) Wine bottle, The Three Dancers
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