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Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was taught at a young age by his artist father. His Father taught Picasso that many tools can be used to create a work of art, and gave him his own first palette and brushes. Picasso's work is often categorized into periods. In one of these periods Pablo Picasso was instrumental in the development of the style of painting known as Cubism. This style uses monochrome brown and neutral colors. In the painting the Three Musicians, an example of Cubism, Picasso takes apart objects and analyzes them in terms of their shapes. By doing this, Picasso separated pieces of information about his subjects and only showed certain parts and viewpoints he chose in the finished painting. He made the appearance of the painting itself more important than the depiction of his subjects in a realistic space.

This artwork is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Questions to Ask

What is the first thing you notice? This is the focal point. The focal point is what first draws your eye, something that stands out.

What shapes do you see? What does three dimensional mean? What does two dimensional mean? Point out shapes in each dimension.

What colors has Picasso used in this painting? (Red, yellow, and blue are primary color that define the focal point)

Where do you see designs? How did he create these designs? (Lines create design and visual texture)

Why do you think this painting is called Three Musicians? Where are the musicians in this painting? What instruments are they playing? (Violin (the French clown), clarinet (French clown), accordion (Monk))

Why do you think Picasso choose non-speaking musicians in this painting? (Music and art are way of communication) Can people communicate without speaking to each other? How?

What is a performance? Are the Musicians giving a performance? Has anyone given a performance? Do you need an audience to perform?

Is being a Musician a talent? What is Talent? Does it need to be practiced? Is it a gift? Does everyone have a talent? (Everyone possess at least one) How can you become great at something? What are some of your special talents?

Activities for the Classroom

Additional Kid Friendly Resources at the AHML are "Pablo Picasso' by Linda Lowery, and 'Picasso' by Mike Venezia.

Using the 'Three Musicians' template, ask the students to use markers to add color and pattern to the coloring sheet. Next have them cut them out and arrange and glue the shapes onto contact paper or brown/black construction paper. Encourage them to try several ways to arrange the cutouts before they glue them down. The students can then add pieces of cloth, musical notes, other colors of paper, etc to their artwork. See the example in the Resources binder.

Ask the students to draw a picture of themselves or their classmates giving a performance. Ask them to use neutral colors. They can then add cut outs of shapes that represent the instruments, music, set design, etc. that was used during the performance.

Three Musicians Coloring page

Have the students do a Cubist Self Portrait. Link provided courtesy of ArtProjectsForKids.Org.

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