Old guitarist, Pablo Picasso – overview of the painting

Old guitarist, Pablo Picasso – overview of the painting
Old guitarist, Pablo Picasso - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Pablo Picasso
  • Museum: Chicago Institute of the Arts
  • Year: 1903

Overview of the painting :

The old guitarist is Pablo Picasso. 1903. Oil on canvas. 121.3 x 82.5 cm

   The Blue Period is the most piercing page of Pablo Picasso’s work, not only because of the events of his previous ones (suicide of a friend of his youth due to his undivided feeling), but also because of the peculiarity of the master’s technique, as well as the chosen dominant color. Cold, even ice blue in all its variations becomes the dominant color. The “Old Guitarist” is one of the demonstration works, both in technology, and in the plot, and in the strength of the tragedy.

   We see a gray-haired rascal who is comforted in an old guitar. His clothes are like rags, and his body was so exhausted that the elongated thin fingers of some critics are perceived as a tribute to El Greco (it is known that Picasso admired the paintings of the famous Spaniard).

   The painter deliberately placed the angular figure in a closed, cramped space, also turning it into an uncomfortable pose. All this emphasizes human suffering and a sense of hopelessness, as well as unbearable loneliness.

   Tearing off the look from strange hands, the first thing that attracts the attention of the elder’s eyes. They are blind. This tragic paint was also repeatedly used by Picasso. In the paintings “Breakfast of the Blind”, “Boy and the Beggar”, “Selestine”, the heroes look at the viewer with unseeing or almost unseeing eyes. All this has an incredibly strong effect and finds an emotional response.

   The picture was repeatedly compared with a kind of self-portrait, and it is not a reflection of the author’s appearance, but rather his difficult internal state in connection with the loss of a loved one.

   Not so long ago, Chicago scientists enlightened the picture on x-rays, and saw that the first plot appeared on the canvas was a completely different plot – a woman breastfeeding. Subsequently, the author created in her place a blind old man in blue tones, however, the contours of the face of the previous heroine can still be distinguished by the left ear of a guitarist.