Poster / Picasso / Paul en Arlequin / 24 x 30 cm

Poster / Picasso / Paul en Arlequin / 24 x 30 cm

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In the early 1920s, Picasso's work alternated between Cubism and Classical styles. In addition to cubist still lifes of the highest structural sophistication, there are figurative paintings in the classical style, mostly with mythological themes. A large number of drawings - mostly pen and ink drawings - also date from these years. There are also images of dancers and harlequins, often highly realistic, testifying to Picasso's enduring interest in the world of ballet and the stage (which was particularly sparked by his commissions for the Ballets Russes). At forty, Picasso is in full possession of his creative powers; the most diverse impulses of his artistic will are reflected in different styles.

Alongside these works, a new type of painting emerged in these years, in which Picasso revealed another aspect of his complex personality: the portraits and sketches of his young son Paul. With them we discover a new facet of the versatile genius of the artist. These works do not claim to raise or solve new artistic problems: they belong entirely to the artist's personal life and he has preserved almost all of them.

Precisely because these works were not intended to solve any formal problems, but were created casually, almost playfully, they reveal the entire range of Picasso's technical mastery. It is precisely in the works in which his eyes and hands are freest that the richness of his creative ideas is most clearly and completely revealed.

In the various portraits of Paul - in a Pierrot costume, dressed up as a bullfighter, or just as a child playing - Picasso shows his ease with composition, color and the arrangement of space. As calmly as if he were making an entry in his diary, he places the figure and establishes its space on the canvas, enlivening the sparse harmony with some lively accents and articulating the large areas of color with a few quick lines or brushstrokes.

Looking at such a portrait, no one would suspect how much of Picasso's experimentation with pasted papers, how much Cubist discipline, went into these casually thrown-in little works. And yet it is precisely these features that make the portrait so masterful, elevating it well above the realistic portraits of most artists. Picasso's affection for his little boy is only the starting point of the painting; what makes it a masterpiece is Picasso's creative assurance.

Original work : 1924 - Oil on canvas / 130 x 97.5 cm
Without frame. Image is delivered in a sturdy cardboard box.

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