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Diabolical Oath Of Allegiance... By Pablo Picasso!

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

A painting of a bent and sightless man holds close to him a large, round guitar.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso painted The Old Guitarist in 1903, just after the suicide death of Picasso's close friend, Casagemas.

During this time, Picasso's main focus was on representing the miseries of the poor, the ill, and those cast out of society.

Remarkably, Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, and ceramicist, as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, the versatility of Picasso's artworks in terms of style (Cubism, expressionism ….), techniques, and subjects' expression is obvious, indicating the exceptional ability of Picasso to represent Art from an innovative perspective.

The Old Guitarist 1903
The Old Guitarist 1903

The Old Guitarist brown body represents the painting's only shift in color. Both physically and symbolically, the instrument fills the space around the solitary figure, who seems oblivious to his blindness and poverty as he plays.

At the time the Old Guitarist was made, literature of the Symbolist movement included blind characters who possessed powers of inner vision. The thin, skeleton-like figure of the blind musician also has roots in art from Picasso's native country, Spain. The old man's elongated limbs and cramped, angular posture recall the figures of the great 16th-century artist El Greco.

Also, the occult theosophical movement evoked by "The Secret Doctrine", published by Helena Blavatsky, the abstraction forerunners Hilma Af Klint, Kandinsky, and Piet Mondrian were announced to be the reflection of this occult theosophical philosophy on the Art movement.

Pablo Picasso's friendship with the occultist Max Jacob

Picasso first got to know Jacob (Max Jacob, Jewish poet, painter, critic, and occultist 1876-1944), after he had left an admiring notice at the Vollard Gallery in Paris where Picasso was exhibiting in 1901. They soon became close friends.

After Picasso and Max Jacob, Picasso draw a pencil drawing, a nude Self-Portrait (1902-3) that suggests he may have attended a Black Mass "Black Mass is a ceremony typically celebrated by various satanic groups.", or at least, fantasized about attending one.

Picasso’s Nude Self-Portrait (1902-3)
Picasso’s Nude Self-Portrait (1902-3)

Picasso swearing a diabolical oath of allegiance!

In Picasso nude self-portrait drawing, a full-frontal image of the naked Picasso standing to attention, his right hand placed over his heart, and his left raised to head height, His left upper arm is drawn in deep shadow. It is tempting to assume it is just a mirror image that shows his raised right arm in reverse, but the nudity suggests otherwise, as do other drawings from the period.

Was Picasso swearing a diabolical oath of allegiance?

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