|During his Surrealist period Pablo Picasso painted Crucifixion, 1930. (from pablopicasso.org)|
Surrealism style uses visual imagery from the subconscious mind to create art without the intention of logical comprehensibility. ---- (surrealism.org)Having been born in Spain and baptized in the Catholic Church, Pablo Picasso was steeped in Christian theology and culture. Though he became an avowed communist and atheist, religious themes permeate his work. Crucifixion crams many of the figures from one of Christianity's most important days into one 20"x 26" oil-on-wood.
Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Jesus' mother Mary, the Roman soldiers who played dice for His robe, the two thieves, and Joseph of Arimathea are all present in a jumble of positions and emotions.
Christians are taught that they are in the world but not of it. He refused to renounce communism even after the Soviets' persecution of artists became known, but it speaks volumes that throughout his 91 years Pablo Picasso chose to live in the Christian world.
Picasso had declared himself an atheist, but his widow, Jacqueline, once said Picasso “was more Catholic than the Pope.” This argues that, far from being eccentric or anomalous, Picasso’s “Crucifixion” belongs within the Christian tradition.