Mother and Child by Pablo Picasso

Mother and Child, Pablo Picasso, 1921, oil on canvas

Title: Mother and Child
Date: 1921
Movement: Interwar Classicism
Media: Oil on canvas
Location: Art Institute of Chicago, USA

The painting depicts a woman, seated, dressed in a white tunic and holding a small child on her lap. The artist has given the figures monumental form, yet sheer weightlessness inspired by his sculpture Two Nudes. In contrast to the chromatic explosion of his Cubist works, Picasso has returned to a muted palette of pale blues and whites to accentuate the warm flesh-tones of the figures. The composition is reduced to verticals and horizontals and the background is simply three bands of colour suggesting sky, sea and foreground and this factor echoes in the geometrical forms of the woman, the mother. Her right thigh is made horizontal to intensify the sense of balance and order within the painting. Picasso disrupts this rigid order by introducing one element, the child, restless in his mother’s lap, giving a sense of movement into the static image.

Artist: Pablo Picasso
Date of Birth: 25 October 1881, Malaga, Spain
Died: 8 April 1973, Mougins, France

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