This painting, done by Pablo Picasso in 1921, is a perfect example of synthetic cubism. Picasso began painting in this style in 1912, so this piece was created well after he established the style. At first glance, the image appears to be a group of musicians, but upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that there is little to no distinction between the different people. In fact, the instruments and sheet music are almost easier to discern than the people playing them. This brings to mind the music created by the band: a given song is better enjoyed as a single piece, rather than by examining each individual part of the song. The contrast of bold and dark colors calls to mind the jazz age, which fits with the time period in which the painting was created.
Were this painting created in an impressionist style, it would likely retain its intense colors, but one would be able to distinguish the people in the image from each other. The clearly defined shapes and textures would disappear, and be replaced with thick brushstrokes creating somewhat blurry boundaries. However, Picasso’s painting shares an important characteristic with the impressionist style: the picture does not realistically depict the scene at hand; rather, it gives the viewer the impression of the scene by using artistic elements to recreate the feelings of the moment.