Picasso’s The Rower

The other day, my thoughtful husband took me on a date to the Museum of Fine Art. I love art museums. Seeing the creation of artistic minds is fascinating to me. One of the works we spent the most time admiring was Pablo Picasso’s The Rower.


In mentioning later to my father that I was grateful for a husband who could appreciate more abstract paintings such as these, my father pointed out they were hard to understand. Let me attempt to illuminate your mind as to why this seemingly two-toned mess is actually beautiful.

The title of this work is “The Rower.” There has been little said in the art world as to the interpretation of this painting, so this allows each of us to draw our own conclusions.

First, I’d like to draw your attention to the upper right corner. You can make out the sillouette of a person – who one can assume is the subject.

In the middle picture, I have circled the part that could easily be the man’s shoulder.

The last picture circles angles that cascade down the center of the painting. This I see as the movement of the elbow as the rower does his work. Is it beginning to come into view yet?

A first-time viewer of Picasso may suggest that he painted this way because he lacked the skill to paint traditionally. If you look at Picasso’s earlier work, you’ll realize how ridiculous a claim that is. But focusing still on The Rower, Picasso’s skill as a painter is evident.


Focus for a minute on the highlighted area in the above picture. Picasso could have left this rectangle a handsome shade of tan, but he added more interest and depth by demonstrating his understanding of light, shading, and color. This is not an easy skill to come by. It takes hours upon hours of painstaking practice and study.

Picasso truly is a master of art.



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