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Woman with Mandolin, 1925

Pablo Picasso

Spanish, 1881-1973
Oil on canvas
51-3/8 x 38-1/2 in. (130.5 x 97.8 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase
© 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

Picasso created this deceptively simple picture using a technique, called sgraffito, generally associated with ceramics, not oil painting. After applying two or more layers of contrasting color (blue over white, pale pink over brown), the artist scraped off the top layer or layers of paint to create an incised line drawing in the color underneath: the white frets of a brown guitar, the dark and light contours of bare breasts, and so on. The effect thus produced is curiously naive, rather like a child’s drawing. The picture dates to 1925, the beginning of Picasso’s engagement with the Surrealist movement, whose members prized children’s drawings and pocket-knife graffiti

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