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Critical Analysis and Formal Analysis of Pablo Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror

Formal analysis

World of art is rich in different directions and styles, which have been making a conspicuous figure for many years. Every style has its own peculiarities and bright representatives. People have different tastes and everyone chooses his favorite style and precious representative. The works of art help people not only be familiar with art, but also calm them and delight the eye. Probably, it is the main aim of art. Nowadays it is practically impossible to find a person who is not familiar with some art directions, pieces of work and artists. The paper deals with the description of the famous Picasso’s picture Girl Before a Mirror.

Girl Before a Mirror is a famous masterpiece by Picasso, belonging to the series of works where the model Marie-Thérèse was used. This picture provoked a great number of discussions and arguments. It is the embodiment and metamorphosis of conventional Vanity image, where the woman looking in the mirror sees her reflection as a death’s head; in this case, he body with two heads is reflected as somber-faced but voluptuous reflection. It is rightfully regarded as one of the most controversial and interesting pictures of Picasso. This painting was performed in is March 1932 (Richardson p.15). It is a work produced in the style that is typical for Picasso. By the way, this image of Vanity was widely used by the artists of earlier eras and, although Picasso replaces the emphasis and creates a very diverse view of the image. The work under discussion contains some erotic motifs and belongs to erotic period of Picasso’s art. During 1932, Picasso’s was dramatically productivity increased because of Picasso’s love and passion to his newest love and affection, Marie-Thérèse. Captivated by this woman, Picasso started a period of a plentiful series of works depicting her face and profile that increasingly became more pleasant and lyrical. In the case, in his work Girl Before the Mirror, Picasso tries to tell a story of their love and feelings to each other.

Critical analysis

Marie Therese is depicted in two forms: herself, from the point of View of Picasso and her reflection. Her eyes are appropriately on opposite sides of her nose; though, looking at her face, it alters like the animated cartoon, beginning with a beautiful, redolent face watched full on, that shines like a full moon at night, to a peaceful pensive profile, to slight differences in whether she is watched as looking at the artist. The frontal view of the picture is half-hidden, it can be considered as a cosmetic cover of sexual allure: the lipstick on the half of month with the rouged cheeks and the skin audaciously gilded. The artist tried to depict all the beauty of female’s body, using the play of shade and color. The outline view of the head expands to an enclosing line of alabaster translucency that whitens the strip pattern to a celestial whiteness, and offers the chastity of halo as well as veil (Picasso p. 56). Due to the usage complementary colors, the created picture is very exciting and beautiful. Due to the idea of double image, the artist tried to draw the parallel between the conscious and the subconscious of human, trying to depict that human soul is dual. In the present picture, we can observe a great deal of mystification and confusion. It may seem that Picasso tries to search for an explanation to the concept of male-female conundrum. He tries to demonstrate viewers that to be attracted to men women should presumably have some male element. The painter piles up some factors that make the problem unsolvable. The result of such work is just a sequence of unsettled contradictions. The main contradiction is that woman has both, female and male features, but the features of a man do not make her unattractive. Because of this idea, many of the critics find the picture male like but in fact, it is the embodiment of feminity and presence of Yang and Yin. Picasso managed to use the schematic way of drawing and make it into an extremely meaningful device. It is necessary to admit that the usage of a grey-ish line mediates between light and dark and makes the composition more harmonious.