Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Oil on canvas
32.7 x 23.6 cm
Donated by the artist, 1970
MPB 110.076

The Work

Picasso painted this work in the same period he was producing many portraits of his parents. There is an effort in all these portraits to capture the essence of what it means to be human. Without leaving academy formalism to one side, this is a more spontaneous work with more impetuous brushstrokes. The energetic design denotes the trade acquired by the young Picasso and represents a decisive leap from his initial steps in Corunna with regards to his artistic concept and construction.

Over the years and specially until 1918, Picasso produced many versions of his own image. The Museu Picasso in Barcelona houses a good selection from the first period (amongst others, MPB 110.063, 110.205, 110.237, 110.300, 110.438, 110.443, 110.567, 110.632, 110.665, 110.676, 110.690, 110.814, 110.816, 110.897, 110.901, 110.932, 111.449). At times, he appears alone and, at others, in the company of his friends Pallarès, Casagemas, and Sebastià Junyer, even dressed in a wig (MPB 110.053).

Picasso uses different techniques in his self portraits. They are especially interesting as, being produced in different periods, they reflect different styles – modernism, Noucentisme, blue, rose, primitivism and cubism. The double development of the man and his art may be seen in the self portraits, each providing something new to his personal biography. In the latter stages of his life, Picasso appears not as an individual but as a character in his works: The Painter and the Model, The Artist and the Model, and Painter Working.


Room 1


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