L'Homme à la Guitare (Man with a Guitar)

Maker and role
Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881-1973
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Object detail

plate, 6 1/8 x 4 1/2in (15.6 x 11.4cm)
Credit line
Gift of the Friends of the McNay
Accession number
Object type
Further information
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.
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
Subject period


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