The Actor: Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso: The Actor

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a giant of twentieth-century art, painted The Actor in 1904 at the age of twenty-three at the beginning of his Rose Period.

The work shows a concern with a modern kind of Mannerism where the limbs are extended and gesture exaggerated. The suits the subject as we watch the actor extend from his own identity into that of a character.

  • Depiction of an actor – likely an acrobat in a red costume with an extended hand gesture
  • Likely On stage, facing the crowd, or backstage
  • A prominent work from his Rose Period which lasted from 1904 to 1906
  • Oil on canvas
  • 196.2 × 115.3 cm

The painting was torn when a woman fell into the painting at the Met in 2010 and was promptly repaired, showing no sign of any previous damage.

Pablo Picasso’s The Actor can be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) in New York City after it was donated by the daughter of Automotive tycoon Walter Chrysler, Thelma Chrysler Foy, in 1923.

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