‘Girl with Mandolin’ is a cubist work by Picasso. The idea for the painting originated in Cadaques where he and Fernande Olivier spent that summer. The work saw Picasso emerge from the early part of his cubist period into what he described as Analytical Cubisum.
This means that while the work still retains much of the cubist influence, there is more, both the lines of the object and the internal figure are broken down into their geometric forms, yet the mandolin itself seems more or less recognisable. This is far from the total abstraction of line and more a slow melting of image into abstraction.
Picasso seems to be melding the cubist style into something a lore more real. This is recognisably a girl playing an instrument. Yet at the same time it has a level of abstraction.
It was also around this time that Picasso started use perspective in his works. This is something that cubism supports. The further away from this image you are the less cubist it appears to be. The lines begin to meld together to create an image that looks more like the style of 1903’s ‘The Old Guitarist’. While at the same time creating an almost 3D effect.
A fascination with how to play with perspective is something that Picasso would return to again and again. It is something that stands out in many of his more abstract works. When viewing Picasso’s works in a gallery it is always a good idea to view the work from across the room where possible, rather just up close to the guard wire. If, like me, you are short sighted removing your glasses can also offer up a whole new perspective, hidden in plain sight.