Picasso e il vero volto dell'Arlecchino

Title: Picasso e il vero volto dell'Arlecchino
Variant title:
  • Picasso a pravá tvář Harlekýnova
Author: Romano, Serena
Source document: Convivium. 2015, vol. 2, iss. 1, pp. 268-277
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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Picasso's famous Harlequin, once in the Staechelin collection and now in the Kunstmuseum, Basel, was painted in 1918 after the artist' return from his sojourn in Rome, Naples, and Pompeii. The figure stands alone facing the viewer, holding his black mask in his left hand and showing his "true" face. Behind him a cloth hangs on a rope. As an iconographic theme, the harlequin was very dear to Picasso, who painted him many times in various attitudes and styles. The unique feature in this version is the cloth, which never appears in Picasso's other Harlequin paintings. The present study proposes that it could be a subtle reference to the iconographic themes of the Veronica and the Acheiropoietes. The former could well have been familiar to Picasso from examples in Spain. The latter he may have encountered in Italy—possibly in medieval copies in Rome’s Lateran and elsewhere in Latium.