The Head 1936 painting by Pablo Picasso originally named Tete is one of the artist’s works from the Neoclassicist and surrealist period. Picasso adopted the neoclassical style in just after the upheaval of the First World War. Most of his drawings and paintings from around this time were influenced by the works of Raphael and Ingres.
The Head is created in the surrealism style. Picasso used a new form of imagery and a formal manner of expressing his deep emotions. For instance, most paintings of his paintings would show violence, fear, or eroticism experienced by him or the society around him. It was during this period that a surrealist poet called Picasso “one of ours” after seeing some of his excellent artwork in surrealism style. A few examples include Woman Sitting in an Armchair, Birds of a Feather, Studio, Design for a Monument and Two Bathers.
The character in the head portrait has been interpreted to express different emotions. The Head painting is a pencil on paper lithograph belonging to the portrait genre. Picasso used Arches wove paper to design the portrait. He also created an almost similar painting titled Head of a woman in 1938. Picasso seems to have stressed the emotional content of his Head 1936 painting by disfiguring the facial structures and extremities of the character. In the Head of a Woman, he also deforms the face of the character, Dora Maar
, who was a young photographer affiliated with the Surrealist movement. Dora became Picasso’s model and partner in 1936.
Despite the fact that Cubism influenced most of Picasso s works, he would still adopt other styles and create impressive artworks with them. The artist had spatial relations which exposed him to rituals and cultures that enriched his imagery. As a result, most of his work bore cubist symbolism. However, the head and other surrealist-inspired images revived his interest in the primitivism and eroticism that would later be appreciated by his fellow artists.