plate, 6 1/8 x 4 1/2in (15.6 x 11.4cm)
Gift of the Friends of the McNay
L'Homme à la Guitare (Man with a Guitar) is the epitome of the Cubist print. A rare Picasso engraving, the image shows a seated man playing the guitar. This is, of course, hard to read for a couple of reasons. First, everything is highly abstracted. The presence of the guitar is suggested in places only by a set of parallel lines representing the strings of the instrument. Second, strong diagonal lines seem to dissect the image, recombining elements to give a sense of seeing it from different angles. The man's face, for instance, seems frontal and simultaenously in profile. This gives the composition a sense of movement. It is as if the guitar player is moving in space or perhaps we the viewers are moving around to see him from different angles.
© Estate of Pablo Picasso/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Modern Art at the McNay: A Brief History and Pictorial Survey of the Collection; William J. Chiego; 2001; 73
From Goya to Johns: Fifty Master Prints from the McNay Art Museum; Lyle W. Williams, Richard Hemphill, William J. Chiego; 2004; 96
Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, a Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885-1973; Georges Bloch, Picasso Project; 2004; 30
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, b.1881, d.1973)