The pictorial production of Pablo Picasso is simply enormous. He was a tireless creator throughout his long life, that's why there are works for all tastes and styles. And even the richness of his work is such that the same canvas can become different works, or rather, different interpretations depending on who the viewer is looking at.
A magnificent example of this is this work from 1942 painted with the oil technique on a large canvas (195 x 262 cm) and which is currently exhibited at Centre Georges Pompidou of the French capital.
This image, as we say, has been interpreted in many different ways. And all this despite the fact that the Spanish painter himself said at the time that it was something as simple as a nude and a musician. But everything seems to indicate that there is something more.
At first there is something that seems obvious, and that is that it could be a tribute or at least a painting inspired by the famous neoclassical canvas of The Odalisque and the Slave by Ingres. And while we can identify the naked woman and the musician (or music) sitting next to her, the truth is that not only the shapes are different. So is the atmosphere that each one transmits. Everything that is grace and exuberance in the nineteenth-century painting becomes a closed and oppressive environment in Picasso's work.
It is precisely there when more theories arise about the interpretation of the painting.And you have to realize the date. The year 1942, when Paris was being besieged and occupied by the German army during World War II. A time thatPicassospent in the French capital, staying virtually all the time in his workshop
The image is read with these keys, considering that it conveys a sense of hopelessness and confinement. Since we see a closed room, and all the colors and the composition help to capture the idea of overwhelm, of claustrophobia.
Two bodies are distinguished. One lying down, the nude that is painted in different cubist planes and with ocher tones. While in the seated character cold colors predominate. A tonal repertoire that is enveloped and harassed by the background with a dense range of browns. Almost without light, really like in a cell, where there is only a sad bed.
We only see those two bodies in that place. So they are, as Picasso said, simply a nude and a musician. Or it's a tribute to Dominique Ingres. Or it is a satire to the same painter, since all the details have disappeared in the end it is a most gloomy scene. Or is it a reflection of the oppression of the moment. Scholars have insisted on seeing different images in the same painting, but we return to the words of the painter from Malaga, who on more than one occasion said in this regard that here "the war had not been painted."