Girl in a shirt

Pablo Picasso • Painting, 1905, 72.7×60 cm
About the artwork
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Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Post-Impressionism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1905
Size: 72.7×60 cm
Content 18+
Artwork in selections: 17 selections

Description of the artwork «Girl in a shirt»

It is not known when the painting was created "Girl in a shirt"but it is generally accepted that it marks the end of Picasso’s “blue period”. Blue in his canvases loses icy coldness, female beauty and sexuality, which were previously supplanted by the emotional shades of disadvantaged characters, returns to work.

The blue period of Picasso falls on 1900 - 1904, when the artist painted essentially monochrome paintings in blue and blue-green hues, occasionally diluting them with other colors. These gloomy works are now among the most popular among the Spaniard, although at one time he sold them with difficulty. His early years in Paris were difficult, and these canvases depicting beggars, cripples, street children and the blind seemed to reflect the painter’s own poverty and uncertainty about tomorrow.

It is not clear what exactly became the starting point for this period. Perhaps Picasso was affected by the suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas, who shot himself in a Paris cafe on February 17, 1901. The artist himself claimed that he began to write in blue when he learned about the death of a colleague. But art critic Helena Secel notes that he was not in Paris during the suicide. This dramatic event was manifested in the works of Picasso only in the autumn of that year, when he made several portraits of the deceased.

For the “Girl with a shirt”, probably, the artist’s new lover posed, Madeleine. In the summer of 1904, she became pregnant from Picasso, but he allegedly forced her to have an abortion. However, despite the fact that the painter had an affair with his other model, Fernanda Olivier, Madeleine continued to appear in his worksin the image of a mother with a child - just at the time when her own child could be born.

And the name of Fernanda Olivier linked the end of the “blue period” of Picasso and the beginning of the “pink”, when warm colors began to dominate his palette. However, the artist’s depression did not stop. It actually continued until the “cubist period” (which followed the pink one), and only in the subsequent neoclassical period did his work begin to demonstrate playfulness, which remained an outstanding feature of his work until the end of his life. Contemporaries of Picasso did not even distinguish between the “blue” and “pink” periods, considering them one.

The constant theme of Picasso’s “blue period”, which turned into “pink,” was the hopelessness of social outsiders - prisoners, beggars, circus artists, the poor or other desperate. This topic corresponded not only to his mood, but also to the spirit of the time, the artistic and intellectual vanguard of the early 20th century.

Author: Vlad Maslov