Francis Picabia (Kids)

*Idylle (Idyll)*

Francis Picabia. Idylle (Idyll). 1927 6570

Francis Picabia. Idylle (Idyll). 1927. Oil and enamel paint on wood, in a frame by Pierre Legrain, 44 5/16 × 32 1/2 × 2 15/16″ (112.5 × 82.5 × 7.5 cm), with frame. Musée de Grenoble. Gift of Jacques Doucet, 1931. © 2016 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. Photo © Musée de Grenoble

Anne Umland: I think this painting is so funny.

You can see buildings in the man's head, and you can see, in the woman's body, these boats that seem to float right on top of her. Plus the bright blue color of the background extends right into the heads and faces of the couple, making it seem as though you can see right through them.

Picabia made his couple look even stranger by painting these long black lines on the man's face, like he has some sort of odd tattoo. And strangest of all, he gave the woman two pairs of eyes and two pairs of lips.

Did you notice that the woman's eyes, each one of them seems to be looking in a different direction? Can you make your eyes do that? I can't. I think like so much else in the picture, its effect is meant to make you wonder, what on earth is going on?

Narrator: Picabia called this painting Idylle. That’s French for a happy, peaceful place.

Anne Umland: I think Picabia leaves it up to us to decide whether that title suits this brightly-colored painting. Do you think the couple are happy, or are they sad, or are they somewhere in between?

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