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CHRISTIAN ZERVOS in his Volume 1 on PICASSO – the only one anyway which was published and is available in the States as the second volume was about to be published at the beginning of the war – dates "Boy Holding a Vase" as a painting of 1905..date with which we concur. Beginning towards the end of 1901 Picasso had started to use this very characteristic blue tonality, which was so much in harmony with the tragic atmosphere in which his subjects were living. The squalor of the "milieu" in which the artist himself was evidently living added a morbidity which the Spanish character absorbed and interpreted. The high stylization of the elongated hands are so very typical of some of the paintings of the 1903 and 1904 period. This suggestion of reverence with which the boy so delicately holds the vase can be compared to a similar expression of the "Woman with a Crow" of the Toledo museum. These caressing and sensitive fingers, which at times are like antennae of the over-wrought, poor creatures, can be found also in so many different gestures, as in "The Actor" – one of the largest paintings of that period, or of the celebrated etching "The Frugal Repast". During these years Picasso was also very much preoccupied by the formation, or we might even say, they deformation of the eyes, whether subconsciously through a prevalence of disease of the eyes in certain parts of Spain, or consciously, as he has at times emphasized that affliction, and a slight lack of parallelism of the eyes is also noticeable in the "Boy Holding a Vase". Typical of this of course, are "The Old Guitarist" of the Art Institute, and to a certain degree "The Woman with Loaves" in the Philadelphia Museum. In 1905 he started adding to his characteristic blues, these terra-cotta pink tonalities, which form part of the background of the "Boy Holding a Vase". It reminds us, particularly in view of the presence of the vase, of the Greek influence which Picasso may have felt in those days and which we find also in some of the paintings of that period, such as "The Woman with a Fan" of the Harriman Collection and also the highly stylized "Toilette" of the Buffalo museum. Besides its obvious charm, the "Boy Holding a Vase" also shows an inner life t.s.v.p.............
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