Home > Essays, LIFE > My view on Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Girl Before a Mirror’

My view on Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Girl Before a Mirror’

“What do you think an artist is? …he is a political being, constantly aware of the heart breaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.” said Pablo Picasso. I chose to write my another postPilt about Pablo Picasso’s great painting called ”Girl Before a Mirror” which he painted in 1932. I went over the paintings many times and that was definitely my favourite. Pablo Picasso is definitely one of my favourite painters and sculptors of all time. He’s done some amazing works during his career. Picasso demonstrated uncanny artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence; during the first decade of the twentieth century his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas (pablopicasso.org). As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, and the great painting ”Girl Before a Mirror” was actually painted during Picasso’s cubism period.

For me, ”Girl Before a Mirror’ is a painting that talks about reflections of self; how we see ourselves versus how others see us; or the duality of our natures. There are so many levels you can use to spur creativity and critical thinking about Picasso’s paintings. I can also imagine this Picasso painting in a philosophy class or any venue in which people are wrestling with what constitutes a self.  The woman on the painting is Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s youthful mistress and favored model in the 1930s.  Picasso shows her both in profile and frontally as she peers into a mirror that reflects a woman she is not. I see a beautiful pregnant woman with a perky and round breasts who is looking at her reflection in the mirror but seeing it as her future reflection. In her reflection in the mirror, she sees that her body is aged and she is not very happy about it. I just love the paintings that when you look at them, you don’t get the meaning of the painting right away; instead we have to look deeper and deeper inside the painting to get the real meaning. Sometimes when I look at his paintings, I start imagine things that are actually not there and that’s exactly what Picasso does in his paintings, and that’s why he is one of my favourite painters of all time. This is what he said many times during his interesting life: “Everything you can imagine is real.”

A lot of people didn’t like Pablo Picasso as a person because of his problematic life but a lot of people definitely liked and respected his art. He rewarded art not just with his creative and unique styles, but also with the innumerous paintings, drawings, sculptures he produced. His painting ”Girl Before a Mirror” is just one example of how talented he was. I really love his work and the way he painted. I am going to finish my essay with a quote by him which definitely reflects his style and his work: “If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!”

  1. Esther
    09/07/2014 at 15:37

    Brilliant, well thought out commentary, this work “Girl Before a Mirror” is my favourite piece of art in the world. Picasso is my muse, in that I try in my art making practice to be me, to allow experimentation to take me on a journey away from the known. The chosen quote is perfect, extreme luck with your essay, from this piece of writing though – you will do amazing.

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