The old guitarist is Pablo Picasso. 121.3 x 82.5 cm
The “Blue Period” is the most penetrating page in the work of Pablo Picasso, not only because of events that preceded him (suicide of a friend of his youth because of unrequited feelings), but also because of the peculiarities of the master’s technique, as well as the chosen dominant color. Cold, even icy blue in all its variations becomes the dominant color. “The Old Guitarist” is one of the exponential works, both in technique, in plot, and in the force of the tragedy.
We see a gray-haired ragged man finding solace in an old guitar. His clothes are reminiscent of rags, and his body is so exhausted that some critics hold out their extended thin fingers as a tribute to El Greco (it is known that Picasso admired the paintings of the famous Spaniard).
The painter deliberately placed the angular figure in a confined space, turning it into an uncomfortable position. All this emphasizes human suffering and a sense of hopelessness, as well as intolerable loneliness.
Looking up from strange hands, the first thing that attracts attention is the eyes of an old man. They are blind. This tragic paint was also used more than once by Picasso. In the paintings Breakfast of the Blind, Boy and the Pauper, Celestine, the heroes look at the viewer with unseeing or almost invisible eyes. All this has an incredibly powerful effect and finds an emotional response.
The picture has been compared more than once with a kind of self-portrait, and it is not a reflection of the author’s appearance, but rather of his difficult internal state due to the loss of a loved one.
Not so long ago, scientists in Chicago enlightened the picture on an X-ray, and saw that the first on the canvas was a completely different story - a woman breastfeeding. Subsequently, the author created in her place a blind old man in blue tones, however, the contours of the face of the previous heroine can still be distinguished behind the left ear of the guitarist.