Nazmiyal Acquires “Musicos Con Mascaras” Carpet by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso — Probably the single most important artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso transformed the face of modern art with his bold experiments in cubism, collage, constructed sculpture and a variety of other styles, several of which he is credited with inventing or co-inventing. A painter, sculptor, ceramicist, printmaker, stage designer, playwright and poet, his contribution to modern art and design is indisputable and his works continue to influence today’s artists.
Picasso created many masterpieces in his illustrious career that began in his teens and continued until his death. Some of his most well-known masterpieces include The Old Guitarist (1904), Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), Seated Woman (1927), Girl Before a Mirror (1932), Geurnica (1937), The Weeping Woman (1937) and Dora Maar au Chat (1941). Painted at different phases of his life, they reflect his changing taste and style.
Although probably not as well-known as some of masterpieces, “Musicos Con Mascaras” (Musicians with Masks) is a beautiful example of Picasso’s artistic genius. This bold and surrealistic painting depicts a group of musicians with their tired pup using sharp-edged geometrical shapes and stunning light effects. Masterfully executed, the painting conjures a sense of what it feels like to practice in a cantina on a hot, dry, lazy afternoon.
In the painting, there are three musicians and a dog, each made of brightly colored geometric shapes in a shallow, boxlike room. The first from the left (wearing blue and white) is playing a clarinet, the second is playing a guitar and the third holding a sheet of music. There is a table in front of the clarinet player and a dog is sleeping under the table, with its belly, legs and tail visible. It is hard to tell where one figure end and another begins since the shapes intersect and overlap.
Musicos Con Mascaras is a perfect example of the great master’s Cubist style, a movement he is credited with co-founding and for which he is most famous for. The characters are created using a sequence of lines, arcs and planes. It is left to the viewers to reconstruct the subject and space and determine what each represents by comparing the different shapes and forms. This 2 meter high and wide painting is currently in the collection of the Museum of Art in New York.
Musicos Con Mascaras marks Picasso’s return to high Synthetic Cubism, which is characterized by an increased use of colors and the introduction of a wide range of materials and textures into the painting. This particular painting was done as part of a series of paintings Picasso did during his stay in the Fountainebleau in the summer of 1921.
Although Picasso never created designs specifically for vintage carpets and rugs, 15 of the works he produced in his Montrouge studio were later reproduced to be used in carpets by the gallery’s owner and patron Marie Cuttoli. Musicos Con Mascaras is one of those paintings. The painting’s bold colors, abstract shapes and an amazing interplay of light, color and shadows gives the rug an artistic and intellectual quality.