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Picasso

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Picasso

Pablo Picasso. Self-Portrait. 1907. Oil on canvas.

The formal and visual elements most utilized, recognizable, and original in Pablo Picasso's Self-Portrait 1907 are line, texture, time, and color. As far as principals of design go, emphasis on proportion and scale of certain features makes them stand out, thus enhancing the expression of his face. I chose this artwork because the simplicity of the painting, especially the bold use of line, is appealing to the eye and looks like something I'd draw.

It appears as though Picasso started the painting with a heavy outline describing and exaggerating the shape of the head and its features, then went on to fill in the body and background. The lines outlining the eyes, cheekbones, and nose are much heavier than the lines making up the mouth. Perhaps this is because he saw himself as more the observer who expresses himself better through his art than through his words. With the eyes and nose overstated, the expression is one of curiosity and constant awareness, as well as optimism and enjoyment. Picasso makes great use of directional lines in this self portrait. His forehead slants at the same angle as his jaw and ear, collar, and lapel. His hair is combed at an angle that matches with the neck, left cheekbone and collar. His right cheekbone is a continuation of the line representing where his shirt buttons up which also matches the line of his left lapel. It looks like he drew the cheekbone and simply lifted the brush and then put it down again to form the center shirt line. Also, the

bottom of the nose curves up identically to the mouth and the ear curves in the same shape as the entire head.

The texture of the painting is rough and gives the feeling that it was done in haste. To me this communicates more emotion than something soft, refined, and above all more realistic. It's as if he was pressing hard on the canvas with the intention of creating a raw image of himself. The texture shows the way his hair is combed in a very interesting way. The texture on his jacket almost resembles pine needles. It has a much more spontaneous feel than previous self portraits he did, though all of them do properly express emotion. The ones previous had a larger blue element to them, communicating depression. Beginning with almost all blue, then blue and orange in 1906, and finally almost all orange in 1907. Classic cool and warm themes. In the self portrait of 1907, he is wearing a light blue shirt and the background is dark to light orange. The dark orange of the background to his left and the light orange of the background to his left seem to suggest that the dark times are behind him and better ones lay ahead. One interesting aspect of the painting is the way Picasso has positioned himself on the canvas. It's off-center in such a way that it forces you to look at everything within the painting.

This painting has all the formal elements if you look for them and represents emotion clearly. The simplicity and complexity merge in a way that makes it easy to understand why Picasso's

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