The painting "Harlequin" was painted by Pablo Picasso in 1917.
The reason for writing the picture was a trip with his future wife, Olga Khokhlova, and a touring circus in Barcelona. After the trip, Picasso painted a portrait of Olga and the sad "Harlequin" in a blue shirt.
In general, the circus played an important role in the creation of many works by Picasso, serving as both a theme and a motive for their writing. The artist’s fascination with the theme of circus and circus performers began presumably from 1905, after he visited the circus of Medrano, later becoming a regular.
Harlequin, a comic and funny hero, is already depicted outside his image. Before he could take off his checkered stage costume, he had already removed the mask of fun and causeless joy. No, he is not in sadness and not in despair, but his gaze and facial features betray a little sadness and more tiredness. We see in him a man who is no different from any of us who does not continue to play outside the stage, but simply lives, worried and rejoiced only for real.
Yes, there is no circus and vivid representations in this picture, the author is only interested in the person’s personality, his soul. Clowns and harlequins, participants in the circus, see us in such paintings in a completely new way: after the performance or in everyday life, they live as if they are not working in the circus.
The presence of circus paraphernalia: costumes, curtains, make-up or decorations on such paintings enhances the effect, making it possible to compare the image in the picture in which its hero appears to the public. They are shown in everyday life, family or at rehearsals. Circus artists are dressed in costumes of their heroes. In life, these people are disinterested, honest and kind, they are alien to hypocrisy and self-interest. That is how the circus world saw Pablo Picasso, who was well acquainted with him.
Zemstvo Meat Eater Lunches