The Pan Pipes, 1923 by Pablo Picasso
Pan, an ancient Greek god and patron of pastoral poets, was also a symbol of fertility and love. He played his reed pipes, formed from a nymph who metamorphosed to escape his amorous clutches. Pan was said to be dangerous in the midday heat, as represented so intensely in this picture; the deep heat emanates from the fierce blue colours in three horizontal bands.
This work sees a development of Picasso's life-long artistic fascination with male sexuality wrapped in images from mythology. The face on the left recalls earlier self-projections, such as Self-Portrait (1907), and suggests the 42-year-old artist's contentment with his own creativity and virility.