There is something about a portrait that captures the imagination. While a great photograph is powerful, a painting artist can create magic, interpreting mood and shaping the image. Many people have found that great anniversary gifts are portraits. Artists through the ages have loved doing portraits. Pablo Picasso painted many stunning portraits in many different styles. He painted many self portraits and plenty of paintings of models. His painting of Girl in Chemise is a moody study of a waif like girl.
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, better known simply as Picasso, went through many styles during his long life. These styles are known in the art world as periods. In his early years he went through a period the some call his modern period. His first major period is his blue period which started about 1901. It was a somber period in which his paintings were dominated by blues and greens. Some believe this period was influenced by the suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas. He painted several tributes to Casagemas, but many of his subjects during this period where street urchins and prostitutes. He caught the desperation and sorrow of the streets. These subjects may have simply reflected his inner demons.
His next major acknowledged period was his rose period. It was during this period that he painted The Boy With A Pipe. This was one of the most expensive paintings ever sold. One of the early paintings during the rose period was of the model known only as Madeline and titled The Girl In A Chemise. The picture is a transitional painting with the background and mood similar to that of the blue period, but with the introduction of the rose tones in the girls face and skin. This has led some to classify this as one of the last paintings of the blue period. Most consider it one of the early paintings of the rose period. The painting shows a woman presenting a side profile while her body faces the artist. The Chemise drapes snuggly revealing a thin waif like girl beneath. Her face, even in profile, seems thin and drawn. Many experts see the Rose period as Picasso's return to a more cheerful mood and romanticism. In the painting A Girl In A Chemise it appears the only cheerful aspect is the introduction of the rose tones. Madeline appears in several of Picasso's paintings, and always seems to have a look of sadness about her.
Picasso went on to other styles of work. He moved from the Rose period into an African period which showed early signs of his cubism period. His next periods were classicism and surrealism. Through out all his work he had a love for figures and portraits.
Picasso changed the face of the art world. He was one of the first major celebrity artists of the twentieth century. His development and styles can be tracked and cataloged. Each period stands well on its own. The Girl In A Chemise is a provocative piece that marks his transition out of the blue period and invokes curiosity about the thin model Madeline.