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Man with a Guitar, 1911 by Pablo Picasso

Again the gradual loosening of form from the tight spatial restrictions of high analytical Cubism is beginning to be felt here. The pyramidal structure is in place but the heavy geometrical shapes are allowed a gentler, more rhythmical feel, counterbalanced by the swirling column-like shape at the bottom, denoting the picture's base. The repeated darkened shape also echoes the guitar, which is more clearly represented this time as a recognised form in the centre of the picture. It makes a full appearance at the height of Synthetic Cubism in The Three Musicians (1921).

Here, the use of shading and contrasting ochre against the blue further emphasises this strong section, almost lifting it from the picture plane as if the lyrical resonance of the guitar is giving the picture sensory life. The inclusion of a wineglass in the top right, the lettering KOU slashed by a horizontal line to create spatial depth and the notion that this is a corner of a room, suggest a cafe scene, as in a work by Braque called The Portuguese.

Picasso's Masterpieces

  • The Old Guitarist
    The Old Guitarist
  • Guernica
    Guernica
  • Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
    Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
  • The Blue Nude
    The Blue Nude
  • Three Musicians
    Three Musicians
  • Girl Before a Mirror
    Girl Before a Mirror
  • the-dream
    The Dream
  • The Weeping Woman
    The Weeping Woman
  • Ma Jolie
    Ma Jolie
  • The Accordionist
    The Accordionist
  • Maya with her Doll
    Maya with her Doll
  • The Rape of Sabine Women
    The Rape of Sabine Women
  • Luncheon on the Grass
    Luncheon on the Grass
  • Dora Maar Au Chat
    Dora Maar Au Chat
  • Nude Green Leaves and Bust
    Nude Green Leaves and Bust
  • don-quixote
    Don Quixote