Today in our blog we take a look on one of the most peculiar forms of art in the 20th Century: Cubist sculpture. When we think about cubism, we are inevitably led to Pablo Picasso’s painting, however, the cubism was not only about painting, nor Picasso was only a painter. We are going to speak about three examples that we can find in the Reina Sofía Museum, but before…

Cubist sculpture: a few of its (many) keys

Cubist sculpture was not caused by a collective movement, but “through individual and lonely actions and experiences which went along with the trend pushed by painters” (Antigüedad del Castillo-Olivares, Nieto and Tussel, 2016, pg. 71). This is why cubist painting and sculpture do not have a parallel or direct relation, each one follows its path and the sculpture is, if possible, more anarchist. The reason why? It is simpler that it seems: Cubist painting continues to be painting and, consequently, it is made on a plane structure, nevertheless, sculpture is “3D”. If painting broke with perspective and with the attachment to reality, this breaking was not performed in such a fierce way in the cubist sculpture.

What they do have in common is their African roots, more than visible in Tête de femme (Fernande), a key work in the Cubist sculpture made by the hand of Pablo Picasso.

Pablo Picasso

Honestly, we have not got much to say about Picasso that you do not already know. Genius! Phenomenal! The first man to go for a drink in the open bars! The man who invented Coke! He was in Egypt when he tasted a sort of hop’s stew and told the guy who was there: “Look, I like it, but I actually think that this would be much better if you served it almost frozen.” Such a privileged brain!

Tête de femme, 1909

Tête of a femme, Pablo Picasso, 1909. Museo Reina Sofía. To see more pictures like this, take a look on our instagram: @theguidesyouneed

Jacques Lipchitz

Good old Jacques… He was born in Lithuania in 1891, when Lithuania was still part of tsarist Russia. Belén Atencia Conde-Pumpido observes that pictorial cubism is essential to his oeuvre not only to absorb it but, eventually, to criticise it. Belén Atecia herself observes that his work and Picasso’s are not the same, but they are “related.

Here he is speaking about his first time in the Hermitage.

Jacques Lipchitz, Sculpture, 1915

“Sculpture”, Jacques Lipchitz, 1915. To see more pictures like this, take a look on our instagram: @theguidesyouneed

Jacques Lipchitz, Sailor with guitar, 1917

Sailor with guitar,Jacques Lipchitz. To see more pictures like this, take a look on our instagram: @theguidesyouneed

Do you want to know more? come to the tour!

Well, just to be honest, since we only work with 6 people at the same time, we sell out faster than we’d like to, but if you are reading this is because you are interested, so we are sure there is a place for you. If you want to come, click here. 


Atencia, Belén (2011): JACQUES LIPCHITZ Y LA CREACIÓN DE UNA ESCULTURA CUBISTA VERDADERA, Baetica. Estudios de Arte, Geografía e Historia, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga.

Olivares, M. D., Alcaide, V. N., & García, G. T. (2016). El Siglo XX: La vanguardia fragmentada. Madrid: Editorial Universitaria Ramón Areces. Madrid.


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