©Pablo Picasso - 1923 Harlequin with a Mirror

1923 Harlequin with a Mirror
Harlequin with a Mirror
1923 100x81cm oil/canvas
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

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From Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid:
Initially intended as a self-portrait, Harlequin with a Mirror combines three characters from the circus and the Commedia dell’arte that held a strong fascination for Picasso, and with which he identified: the two-cornered hat is a clear reference to Harlequin, the clothes are those of an acrobat, while Pierrot’s face, turned into a mask, conceals the artist’s identity.
The solid figure of Harlequin, whose body takes up most of the composition, is evidence of a new artistic idiom inspired by the classical approach of the great masters, which Picasso had adopted after his visit to Italy in 1917. Although his experience in Italy prompted a return to classical principles, he eschewed literal interpretation in favour of the free approach acquired through his previous Cubist experience.