Additional Information About This Piece:
Picasso paints three musicians made of flat, brightly colored, abstract shapes in a shallow, boxlike room. On the left is a clarinet player, in the middle a guitar player, and on the right a singer holding sheets of music. They are dressed as familiar figures: Pierrot, wearing a blue and white suit; Harlequinn, in an orange and yellow diamond-pattered custome; and, at right, a friar in a black robe. In front of Pierrot stands a table with a pipe and other objects, while beneath him is a dog, whose belly, legs, and tail peep out behind the musician's legs.
Like the boxy brown stage on which the three musicians perform, everything in this painting is made up of flat shapes. Behind each musician, the light brown floor is in a different place, extending much farther toward the left than the right. Framing the picture, the floor and the flat walls make the room lopsided, but the musicians seem steady.
Music Makers in Harmony; It is hard to tell where one musician starts and another stops, because the shapes that create them intersect and overlap, as if they were paper cutouts. Pierrot, the figure in blue and white, holds a clarinet in his hands; one hand is connected to a long, thin, black arm, while the other hand lacks an arm.
Three Musicians emphasizes lively colors, angular shapes, and flat patterns. Picasso said he was delighted when "Gertrude Stein joyfully announced... that she had at last understood what... the three musicians was meant to be. It was a still life!"
Picasso painted Three Musicians in 1921. By now, PIcasso was a famous artist. He befriended and collaborated with writers and performing artists, illustrating books and designing stage sets for operas and ballets.