Lovers, Picasso, 1919

Many experts call this picture both mysterious and programmatic. It is mysterious because of the fact that, the well-established flow of classicism and almost a return to the academic tradition suddenly burst into the most prominent Cubism.

But that’s not all. It is possible and necessary to read “lovers” as a kind of puzzle – a slightly encrypted, but clear message. Fortunately, Picasso left on the canvas a few hints, which you willy-nilly pay attention to.

In the upper right corner, the signature: “manet”. That is to make sure that no one confused who exactly is being bullied by Picasso. Of course, over Édouard Manet. The combination of red, white, black and blue, which Picasso carefully and snidely repeats, is very typical.

The pair depicted in the center is the artist and his beloved. They are clearly celebrating something, based on a glass of champagne in a man’s hand. By the way, he is dressed very richly and socially – a tuxedo and a snow-white plastron. And this joyful couple is stomping with their feet on some newspaper – you can only read a meaningless combination of letters: “sigean”.

In the newspaper ” L’Intransigeant “, the name of which can be translated as “Unbending” or “Principal”, was a section of artistic criticism. It was there that a mocking review of the Picasso exhibition appeared at the Paul Rosenberg Gallery, where the artist first appeared with his classic works: “He is a clever dancer around cubism, which now bored him. He jumps over impressionism. He falls down in front of Mr. Engr, who sends him his warmest regards.”

Picasso appreciated the sense of humor and answered with just as much mockery. Generally speaking, the picture should be called like Mayakovsky’s poem : “Nate!”. Having specially placed his characters in the same Rosenberg’s gallery, which is mentioned by the characteristic wall panels, he makes it clear that you can bark as much as you like. But first of all, I remember very well that I invented cubism, now I can’t be thrown off the pedestal, and I can set the mood. Secondly, here I am – in a tailcoat, with a beautiful wife, on the crest of success, and we didn’t care about your leaf.

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