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Picasso exhibition shows artist in 3D

Holburne Museum show of stereoscopic images of artist at height of his fame gets a little help from Brian May.

They show Picasso with his admiring entourage, relaxing with his family and friends, posing in his crazily cluttered studio, and proudly wearing the stetson given to him by a Hollywood actor and being mobbed as a superstar at the French bullfights he enjoyed. And all are in 3D, part of an exhibition where the images will be shown for the first time.

The images date from 1957, when Picasso was acknowledged as the world's greatest living artist, and will be displayed at the Holburne Museum in Bath, where visitors will be able to see them on 3D TV screens by wearing special glasses or through viewers.

Alexander Sturgis, Holburne's director, said the Picasso images were one part of "a fantastically varied and extraordinary archive", taken by Robert Mouzillat – a brilliant and eccentric 3D technology pioneer and inventor of the two-lens camera which took them.

Sturgis was first approached by his daughter, Elizabeth Mouzillat Jowett, and he happily travelled to Jersey to look through the 100,000 images that exist there in the archive.

There were pictures of monuments, French landscapes, nudes, the inside of the Elysée Palace, the coronation, even Arnold Palmer and his golf swing.

The gallery has been helped in the project by a somewhat unusual source. Sturgis said he got in touch with Brian May who, as well as being Queen guitarist, astrophysicist and friend of the badgers, is chairman of the Stereoscopic Society. May called it an "absolutely fabulous project" and has prepared the images in the book that can be seen through theLondon Stereoscopic Company's 'Owl' viewer.