Woman with mandolin (1909) by Pablo Picasso

Woman with mandolin - Pablo Picasso - 1909

Artwork Information

TitleWoman with mandolin
ArtistPablo Picasso
Art MovementAnalytical Cubism

About Woman with mandolin

The artwork “Woman with Mandolin” was created by the eminent artist Pablo Picasso in 1909. This exemplary piece, rendered in oil on canvas, is a quintessential representation of the Analytical Cubism art movement, a genre that Picasso himself co-founded and developed. The work falls within the genre painting category, which typically depicts scenes or events from everyday life.

The artwork presents a fragmented and abstracted depiction of a woman holding a mandolin, a characteristic subject matter for Picasso during his Cubist phase. The composition is constructed with a muted palette of browns, grays, and ochres, which help to emphasize the geometric shapes and planes that dissect the form of the woman and her instrument. Through the interplay of these shapes and the subtle gradation of tones, Picasso challenges the viewer’s perception and invites them to consider multiple perspectives simultaneously.

Analytical Cubism, the movement to which this artwork belongs, sought to deconstruct objects and figures into basic geometric components and to portray them from multiple viewpoints. “Woman with Mandolin” exemplifies this approach through its complex arrangement of overlapping and intersecting forms. Picasso’s technique creates a sense of depth and volume without relying on traditional methods of perspective or shading.

The genre painting aspect of the work allows Picasso to explore everyday subject matter in a revolutionary way, distancing the depiction from reality, yet still offering an anchor to the recognizable through the title and trace elements within the composition. This artwork stands as a testament to Picasso’s innovative spirit and continues to be a key work in understanding the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century.

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