Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of Jaime Sabartes, painted during the Blue Period of his work, is a Post-Impressionism masterpiece. The portrait measures 46 x 38 cm and is displayed at The Picasso Museum in Barcelona. It depicts the exploration of bohemian Parisian café culture in Montmartre, where Sabartes was often seen alongside Picasso. In a statement by Sabartes, he mentioned that the painting reflects how Picasso saw him while they were in the café and represented “the spectre of my solitude seen from without.”
The Portrait of Jaime Sabartes captures vantage aspects like brushstrokes and color, bringing out notable characteristics that speak volumes about both artist and subject. During this particular period in Picasso’s career, he had adopted a somber mood with monochromatic paintings; this explains why there are limited colors used in the portrait. Additionally, most figures painted during this era had illusions to either death or carpe diem; thus it’s not surprising that he painted Jaime with an expressionless face full of isolation sentiments.
Picasso was twenty when he painted his Self-Portrait before embarking on his second stay in Paris for winter 1901 which set off his blue period journey into one painting after another carrying various gloomy themes. Portraying himself wearing old clothes worn-out from self-deprivation and poverty as though daringly wearing them outwardly for all to see an aspect which saw him looking quite aged past his years sparked controversy among art enthusiasts but captivated many others alike.