Picasso, The Beggar

Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973), The Beggar, 1904, watercolour on paper, 36 x 26 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © Succession Picasso, 2013
Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973)
The Beggar
1904
watercolour on paper
36 x 26 cm
© MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © Succession Picasso, 2013
HD image
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) was one of the most prolific and inventive artists of the 20th century. Born in Malaga, son of an art teacher, Picasso was a gifted child who, at the age of eight, was already painting with a precocious grasp of line and gesture. Settling in Paris in 1901, he invented Cubism alongside Braque and frequented the Surrealist milieu, but above all followed his own path and continuously explored a wide variety of techniques. When he died an internationally acclaimed artist in 1973, he left behind a vast body of work that spanned and dominated much of the century.

The watercolour that joined the MuMa collection in 2009 with the second Senn-Foulds donation was a product of Picasso's youth, and more specifically his Blue Period (1901–1904). This period, named for the predominantly blue palette he adopted, was in response to news of his friend Carlos Casagemas' suicide in 1901, a painful event that he evoked in The Death of Casagemas (1901, Paris, Musée Picasso). During these few years, Picasso painted melancholic subjects: women alone, saltimbancos, beggars, old men with malnourished, bent bodies, hollow faces and thin wrists and ankles, extremely fragile creatures. The prevailing bluish grey and brown tones strengthen the sense of distance one feels before this world tinged with sadness and fatality. The bodies, often stretched out, evoke the world of El Greco, which Picasso studied during this period and had a strong influence on him. The Beggar is part of this melancholic world.

A bearded man, seated, holds a swaddled baby against him, his left hand outstretched for money. Bent, barefoot, dressed in rags, he is filled with resignation, while the wide-eyed child by its sweet innocence questions the misery in the world. This watercolour can be associated with works like Old Beggar with a Boy (1903, Moscow, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) and The Blind Man's Meal (1903, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Artworks in context : Graphic arts (18)

Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973), The Beggar, 1904, watercolour on paper, 36 x 26 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © Succession Picasso, 2013
Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917), Drapery Study. Study for Semiramis Building Babylon, ca. 1860-1862, graphite, Pierre Noire pencil and white gouache, on blue-grey laid paper, 32.8 x 31.3 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Charles de la FOSSE (1636-1716), Study for Saint John the Evangelist, red chalk reinforced with Pierre Noire pencil, traces of white chalk, 41.7 x 23 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Henri Edmond CROSS (1856-1910), Woman and Dog Among the Umbrella Pines, charcoal on laid watermarked paper bearing the Auguste Lepage stamp, 24.3 x 31 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Albert MARQUET (1875-1947), Woman, Child and Man from Behind, ca. 1904, black ink on wove paper, 19.5 x 27.6 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), The Banks of the Orge at Breuillet, 1895, pastel on paper, 60 x 47 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard
Henri Edmond CROSS (1856-1910), Sunset, watercolour on vellum paper. © MuMa Le Havre
Henri Edmond CROSS (1856-1910), Le Mourillon, 1906, watercolour and black pencil on thick vellum paper, 16.9 x 24.7 cm. Senn-Foulds collection. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917), Saddle Horse, ca. 1862, graphite on tracing paper, 17.8 x 28.1 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Edgar DEGAS (1834-1917), Marguerite Degas, ca. 1859-1860, graphite on wove paper, 30.1 x 23.2 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Eugène DELACROIX (1798-1863), Six Studies of Cats, brown ink on vellum papier, 18.8 x 18 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), Fog at Sunrise, 1919, pastel on paper, 47 x 62 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), Maritime Pines, Creek in Le Brusc, ca. 1911, pastel on paper, 48 x 62 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), Bridge Over the Sédelle, Crozant, 1896, pastel on paper, 47 x 60 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), Woman's Head in Profile, 1878, pastel on paper, 47 x 32 cm . © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Albert MARQUET (1875-1947), Sinuous Woman (front), ca. 1904, Indian ink on wove paper, 28.5 x 18.8 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Charles Maslard — © ADAGP, Paris, 2015
Odilon REDON (1840-1916), Profile of a Man with a Bouquet of Flowers, ca. 1880-1885, charcoal with black pencil, smudging, marks of erasing on vellum paper, 48.1 x 36.2 cm. Senn-Foulds collection. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Armand GUILLAUMIN (1841-1927), Mill on the Creuse, 1896, pastel on paper, 47.5 x 61 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn