Absent’s lover, Pablo Picasso, 1901

Absent’s lover, Pablo Picasso, 1901
Absent's lover, Pablo Picasso, 1901 - 1

  • Posted by Pablo Picasso
  • Museum: Hermitage
  • Year: 1901

Overview of the painting :

Absent’s lover is Pablo Picasso. 1901. Oil on canvas. 73×54

   The 20th century, together with technological progress, personal freedom, the most bloody wars and democracy, brought loneliness and isolation. The embodiment of this state of emptiness and restlessness is this work.

   A dry, brittle figure, clasping his hands to finally close from the world, is immersed in illusions inspired by a vulgar tincture. In her dreams, the heroine feels comfortable. The key to a quick return to reality is a half-empty glass of “fairy drink.”. Long thin fingers of the model, like a tentacle of a fantastic, unearthly creature, wrap their face and shoulder. She herself is like a hallucination, fuzzy and volatile. There is no thought, reflection, mind in the look. Quiet contemplation, meaningless, fleeting, again and again caused by new portions of absinthe.

   When carefully examined, it is obvious that the heroine was preparing for a visit to the cafe: a flirty curl falls on her forehead, traces of makeup are barely visible on her face. What is it? A timid hope for a change in life? The rules of decency? You cannot answer unequivocally.

   A subtle smile guesses on a yellowish face. The heroine feels comfortable in her drunken illusions. At the same time, some tension is guessed in the work.

   The heroine’s loneliness is shared by a glass of greenish potion and blue siphon. The mirror on the wall reflects the multi-colored world from which a woman so decisively fenced off.

   The color scheme of the work is very contrasting. Blue is fighting orange-brown. A world of illusions with reality. The lines of the figure are clear, contrasting. The image of the figure is slightly blurry, the viewer sees it through the eyes of a heroine. A similar game with space creates the illusion of the double presence of the heroine.

   Compositely, a glass and a siphon with water repeat the outlines of the heroine. They are like two sides of the same, connected inextricably. Such associative relationships clearly characterize the artist’s entire work.

   The atmosphere of the picture is saturated with a sense of struggle between reality and illusions. The tragedy of the situation is that illusions kill reality, and the heroine’s consciousness will soon not be able to endure reality, finally making a choice in favor of fantastic visions that destroy the ability to think, evaluate, live.

   The author’s position is clearly formalized – anxiety and uncertainty. These two feelings, so characteristic of a person of the 20th century, are presented to the audience in the abstract plot of one of the most expressive and concise works of the great master.