In 1907, Picasso, already widely known, unexpectedly for others, creates a series of paintings in a new, so-called Cubist manner. Cubism, which at first scared away critics and the public, soon develops into one of the most common trends, not only in French, but in all European painting. The testament of Cezanne, who called to interpret nature “by means of a ball, a cone, a cylinder,” Cubist artists viewed as their creative program. Cezanne himself never followed these words literally.
Young artists were more radical. The cubists tried to reveal the construction of the object, to expose its “clean” structure. The surrounding nature, household items, the human figure were transformed in their paintings into a combination of volumes and planes. However, the largest Cubist artists and, above all, Picasso himself never broke away from reality. Their experimentation was cognitive, not arbitrary. Therefore, a number of things by Picasso relating to the Cubist period, really reveals the phenomena from a new side, deepening the viewer’s view of the subject.
Still Life “Green Bowl and Black Bottle” was written in the period when abstraction took the main place in the work of Picasso. The composition is emphasizedly simple and concise: there are only two completely mundane objects against the background of a drape written together. The location of objects allows you to best identify the mass, contour, even the texture of the material. The artist deprived the picture of any decor, shifted things almost to the edge of the picture, turning them to the viewer angle, which created a clearly tangible tension. The impression of anxiety enhances the contrast of deep tones – green and black – on objects shown against a piercing red color.
Confident generalized painting, severe color, built on a combination of brownish-red, black-gray and deaf green. But the conciseness of artistic means gives special expressiveness to these simple objects.
Rejecting illusiveness, refusing the deadening correctness of form, Picasso strengthens the “character” of each vessel depicted: a slender, perfect in shape, even an elegant black bottle and a wide, somewhat clumsy green cup. Things get extraordinary spirituality and “vitality.” In a small still life Picasso’s amazing ability to see in the inexhaustible visual possibilities in the surrounding reality was fully manifested.
The painting entered the Hermitage in 1934 from the State Museum of New Western Art in Moscow.