Portrait of Ambroise Vollard - Pablo Picasso. 92x65
Who is Vollard was known to most European artists of the early 20th century. Vollar was able to find talents, buy from them paintings in bulk, advertise genius in the best galleries and salons, and then sell works at exorbitant prices.
Artists depended on the mood of their investor, some dreamed that Vollard would notice them, others did everything possible to be useful to him.
Picasso during the blue and pink periods was Vollard's favorite. But as soon as the great master entered upon the precarious ground of innovation and experiment, he immediately lost the favor of a businessman who could not be sure that new works would be profitable. Everything is too unusual and revolutionary. Investors have always been careful.
It all started with the portrait of Vollard. Picasso portrayed a businessman in his new manner. The word cubism has not yet entered the everyday life of art critics, and the society was very wary and doubtful of the work of new artists.
The model criticized the portrait, but accepted the work as a gift (several years passed and this work was bought by a famous Russian philanthropist and collector Shchukin for a tidy sum).
The viewer sees Vollard as if reflected in a cracked mirror. Each fragment reflects a part of the whole image and at the same time reveals this image from a new perspective. In this work, the viewer does not have to understand two or three plans, as in a regular work, but in a dozen different plans - near and far, each of which is important.
The investor has a difficult face. Moody face, heavy jaw, broken nose. Before us is not a sophisticated connoisseur and connoisseur of art. On the contrary, he is a resourceful and stubborn fighter who is not used to giving in and knows exactly what he wants from life.
The whole picture is subject to strict rhythm. The color scheme does not distract from the main thing - from the model itself, its mood, inner mood, energy.
When Cubism became a respected and sought-after trend in painting, Vollard resumed cooperation with Picasso. True, now he had to be content with a very small profit, the purchase price has changed a lot.