Portrait of a Child (1951)
Upon looking at Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of a Child, I was immediately intrigued by the progression of detail in the piece. The child is facing profile, from the bridge of her nose to her eyes is very detailed and realistic , but as her head progresses the detail becomes more vague and abstract. Another
aspect, I noticed about the portrait, was the contrast between the grim facial expression of the little girl, and the cartoonish loopy quality feature of the little girl’s hair. This portrait was painted in 1951, during Picasso’s final style period, that was highly influenced by expressionism. This period (1938-onward) was influenced by the war. Picasso conveyed the anticipation and terror felt by any and himself in his work. Perhaps, the grim expression of the little girl in Picasso’s portrait is representative of an emotion felt by many after the war. The style of this portrait is different from impressionism. Unlike in impressionism, the facial features of the young girl in the portrait are quite detailed. Additionally, the portrait is a sketch versus a paint so brush strokes and light usage do not come into play as they do in impressionism. This painting is not something that one would typically associate with Picasso, and that is what drew me to it.