The magnificent dimensional painting “Dryad” or “Nude in the Forest”, Pablo Picasso painted in oil on canvas during his African period.
African art has always attracted the artist. He admired the exhibits in museums, admired the unusual attractive power of the magic of sculptures, which were often crude, but very attractive.
The painting was painted in 1908. The painter depicted in the picture either a woman or an idol made of wood. It seems that he simply pushed out of the thicket an ancient forest spirit-deity – a dryad. The master of the brush believed that the magic of Mother Nature could be easily conveyed by the magic of colors. In early Cubism, the painting “Dryad” is favorably distinguished by the fact that it is filled with the energy of life, because the wooden idol is not a frozen figure, but a gesturing Galatea.
The fact that Picasso approached the painting of the Dryad in a special way is evidenced by the size of the canvas. The artist transferred the carefully thought-out composition onto a large canvas. This suggests that the picture is quite significant.
The background of the canvas is peculiar. The sculptural figure is framed by two dead tree trunks that form a niche. The dryad itself is pushed forward. The color scheme is also specific: the face is darkened, and a shade of yellow ocher prevails in the whole image.
The main thing that impresses the viewer when looking at “Dryad” is the simplified manner of writing and coarseness when depicting the female body. The painter was encouraged to such actions by shocking, because Picasso sought to convey reality using the simplest methods. His work is not reduced to geometrization, it has its own meaning. The mysterious world of “Dryad” is gloomy, open to dark forces, it is not illuminated by the light of the sun. The silhouette of a woman, executed in shades of brown (from light to dark) is a bit vulgar, with hidden energy. This is evidence that the artist often reflected on the contradictory nature of human nature.
Year of painting: 1908.
Dimensions of the painting: 185 x 108 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.