Friday, March 06, 2015

Influences and Coincidences

Absinthe Drinker by Pablo Picasso 1902
I fell in love with Picasso's blue period back when I was on a college study tour that took me to Washington, D.C. and the National Gallery of Art. Several paintings from that period were on display and I was enough taken with the elongated figures and monochrome blues to purchase a print and a postcard from the museum gift shop. I practiced my drawing skills on this one shown above, The Absinthe Drinker, back when I'd taken a Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain class. I worked it up in pencil only, but that exercise of really studying the painting, the swoop of the line of the nose, the folds in the cloak, made me very familiar with that woman, and I also gained insight into Picasso's style here and one to come.

Deirdre of the Sorrows by John McKirdy Duncan

So when I ran across this chalk drawing by John McKirdy Duncan in a book on Celtic mysticism, I felt I'd seen this woman somewhere before. I was sure that this pose was very similar to that Picasso painting. Upon comparing the two, I definitely see a connection, the poses both speaking of a sort of despair, the profiles so much alike, both women wrapped in a protective cloak.

Hecate by William Blake 1795

Near the end of the book was yet another painting with a woman with a very similar look, this one Hecate by William Blake. Her cloak is not wrapped about her in the same way but there is that same profile perhaps looking even more so like Picasso's woman. I doubt that these three artists had any influence on each other (although I don't know that for a fact) so I find it a marvelous coincidence and a lesson to us all that these three women are so similar.

As an aside, as I researched these paintings, I was surprised to find that Hecate is available in a cropped version including just the humans in plate form. It seemed an odd choice for even a collectable plate.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Love the blue Pacasso. They do say that artists "steal" from each other.