Our exhibition Bacchanale: Music in Picasso’s Linocut Prints features a series of linocuts and ceramics inspired by contrasting music styles and feelings, the Bacchanale and the Aubade.
Inspired by the most famous artist of the 20th century, we will create two distinct portraits with a couple of musical links and materials found in your home.
About the artist
- Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 and from a young age, he demonstrated considerable talent for drawing and painting. At age 13, he entered art school and later, at age 16, travelled to Barcelona to attend school with adults.
- Picasso moved to Paris, France where he met with other artists, writers and philosophers. At the time, Paris was a gathering place for the Avant-Garde (a group of people promoting innovative ideas or techniques in a given field, especially the arts).
- During his lifetime, he created over 20,000 artworks and originated an artistic movement known as Cubism with fellow artist Georges Braque.
- Picasso was not afraid to try new things and consequently, worked in a range of mediums and innovated several art techniques such as collage and in printmaking, using only one plate to produce an image, known as a Reductive print.
Click on the links below to see examples of portraits made by this artist and use the questions to look closer at the artist’s works.
What do you notice about these self-portraits? What feelings to the portraits convey? What do they tell us about the artist? What feeling do they inspire in you?
Portraits of Dora Maar
Dora Maar was an artist and girlfriend of Picasso. Over the course of their relationship, Picasso used Dora as a model for many of his artworks. Here are two examples:
Do they look as if the same artist created them? Why or why not? What do you notice about Weeping Woman? What feeling is the artist trying to convey?
As you have seen, Picasso’s portraiture style changed a lot over the years. He painted realistic and abstract portraits among other subject matter with a focus on creating images that were unique to his ideas and insights. In his later years, he turned to mythology for inspiration as seen in our featured exhibition.
Now it’s your turn! In the footsteps of this great artist, listen to the musical selections listed and innovate your own unique series of portraits.
Our first portrait will be inspired by the Bacchanale or a riotous celebration. The word stems from ancient Greece, after the God Bacchus.
- Gather a few sheets of paper and crayons
- Listen to the following musical selection and visualize! What is going on in this music? Is it fun? Exciting? Chaotic?
3. Use texture, line, shape and colour to make distinctions between each feature. Let the music inspire your pencil over the paper. Let yourself try something you haven’t done before.
4. When you are done, flip your portrait over and set it aside.
Our next portrait will focus on the mood of early morning which is what “Aubade” refers to. “Aube” in French means the dawn.
- Listen to our next musical selection. Don’t draw just yet but close your eyes and imagine what the music looks like. How is the feeling different from the last piece?
2. Pick up your crayon and draw a portrait informed by your current feeling, are the colours, lines and shapes the same?
Compare your two portraits: What do you notice? What surprised you?
Download a PDF version of this activity here.