Since 1901, Picasso has developed his own style, which characterizes the so-called “blue period” in his art. The artist writes exclusively in a cold, blue-blue range. The characters of his paintings are beggars, sick or people thrown out of life.
The cold color gives the works a sad, sometimes tragic sound. The theme of the destitute goes into the next, so-called “pink period” of Picasso’s work. His sadness is now a lighter, lyrical shade. The coloring of the paintings is based on a combination of delicate pink and blue tones.
Artist attracted scenes from the life of wandering circus. Before the spectator their life passes – heavy, impoverished, although not devoid of a kind of romantic charm. A special role in these pictures is played by the theme of intimacy, tender love or camaraderie. The little gouache in the Hermitage collection perfectly describes the Picasso art of the “pink period”.
A quiet and loyal friendship binds a puny boy and a dog – a simple mongrel with an intelligent face, trustingly pressed against the foot of his little master, while he strokes her head. Picasso emphasizes the boy’s thinness, somewhat upsetting the proportions of his body, but this deformation only underlines the impression made and therefore serves to increase the veracity.
The picture is touching without sentimentality, it is deeply human. Depicting a thin, pale, big-headed child, hungry and dressed in rags, the artist does not demean his dignity, but gives him a subtle poetry. In The Boy with the Dog, the high humanism of Picasso, which constitutes the main feature of his entire art, is manifested. The painting entered the Hermitage in 1935 from the State Museum of New Western Art in Moscow.