Pablo Picasso’s Seated Old Man is a unique painting from his Later Years period, painted in 1970 in the Naïve Art or Primitivism style. Picasso, who produced over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and costume designs over his career as an artist remains one of the most dominant and influential artists of the first half of the 20th century.
The Seated Old Man depicts an old man seated with a walking stick in his right hand staring straight ahead with both eyes wide open. The figure is represented using bold colors and simple shapes that give it an almost childlike quality while still retaining its expressive power. It’s unclear whether this is a portrait of someone known to Picasso or simply an imagined figure but regardless it exemplifies his mastery of form and color.
Picasso’s other famous works include The Old Guitarist (1903) from his Blue Period which portrays poverty and suffering, Three Musicians (1921), painted during Synthetic Cubism which represents a symbolic group portrait of the artist along with two friends. Additionally there is Seated Bather (1930) created during his separation from Olga Khokhlova (his previous wife). The painting shows deep sadness in its portrayal of female vulnerability.
In summary, Pablo Picasso’s Seated Old Man serves to showcase primitivistic art style & emotive power through use of bold colors and simple forms while depicting a man looking straight on with rigidity at what we can only assume to be something important.