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Franklin Bowles Gallery Somehow the true greatness of Picasso's artwork has always been beyond me; as hard as I tried, I could not see what made him so impressive. I was of the opinion that real art had to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as exhibit innovation and creativity on the part of the artist. And frankly, I didn't see one or the other when I looked at Picasso's work before seeing some of his pieces in person at the gallery.

To begin, the whole process of etching was so amazingly painstaking to me that I could not believe any artist would put forth all that effort for such a small, colorless, and simple picture. However, upon closer inspection I saw that through the etching process artists like Rembrant and then Picasso, years and years later but still using the same technique, were able to create tiny masterpieces.

And it was the fact that they had used the etching technique that made them so impressive, rather than ridiculous like I had first thought. The detail that the artists were able to get into the little pictures amazed me; the careful shading to create dimension, and ability to capture minute details of expressions on faces were impossible to not appreciate.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit now that Picasso's sketches had always seemed rather simple-minded and boring to me. I clearly had neglected to use my imagination when viewing his drawings. With a few simple yet perfectly calculated lines, Picasso was able to create figures that suggested shape and form, instead of just giving it to the viewer, which could be considered the lazy man's way. Since Matisse is one of my absolute favorite artists, it was a treat to see his influence be carried over into Picasso's work. The upholstery of the armchair in Picasso's drawing is undeniably the effect of time spent with his friend Matisse, and I think it's nice to have a little design in a sketch that has little or no content value, which Picasso typically seemed to avoid. Regardless, I was thrilled to have seen so many of his works in person, and I definitely increased my appreciation for and knowledge of Picasso in that quick trip.