Student with a Newspaper

Pablo Picasso Spanish

Not on view

The college student, identifiable by his beret, reads a newspaper and clutches the dotted form of a bottle in the crook of his arm. The face—a dark triangle with white oval eyes, arched eyebrows, a curved mustache, and a toothy grin—was inspired by a Wobe mask from West Africa. Picasso reveled in the work’s multiple textures. The grit of the sand mixed into some of the paint catches the light, an effect repeated by the colorful dots that animate the surface. Students showed up en masse for the annual Carnival celebrations, which involved copious amounts of paper confetti. The spray of red dots on this student’s face hints at his inebriation, an interpretation supported by the inclusion of a bottle of alcohol and by the shortening of the newspaper masthead to “UR[I]NAL.”

Student with a Newspaper, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France), Plaster, oil, Conté crayon, and sand on canvas

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