A story on Pablo Picasso’s painting, “Musicians with Masks”


Sophia Sokoll, Staff Writer

When you look at this painting at first glance you might see a lot of shapes. Not 3 musicians standing next to each other. In fact, this painting probably won’t look appealing in the beginning, but when you take a minute or two to really look at the message of this painting then the whole picture will come to life, or as 6th-grade student, Hayden says, “The painting makes me feel… loud! The vibrant colors, crisply defined shapes, and dark background emphasizes the figures. The whole painting seems to shout.”

 This painting was created by the famous Spanish sculptor and painter Pablo Picasso. Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain.  His style of art is called Analytic Cubism, he developed this style of painting with George Braque, while they were using brown neutral colors in art.


This piece of art is very well planned out, the 3 musicians are connected together but you can see their faces and legs and arms. It takes skill to create such a well-balanced painting, one that does not scare away people who look at it but instead is so accomplished that it actually draws people nearer to take a better look at the strange but yet beautiful musicians.  8th Grade student Linden Pennings says that “The painting makes me feel intrigued because of the way one shape leads into another and how one color transforms into another thing entirely. I also feel intrigued by the way the painter made all the figures seem united.” 

Many different colors are put together and create contrast from the background of the wall to the shining suit of the guitarist standing in the middle of the trio. There are 2 instruments in the picture; a clarinet and guitar. There also is a songbook being held in the hands of the musician on the right side of the painting. This combination of instruments is a bit odd but seems to be the perfect fit in the frame. 


Pablo Picasso uses a large amount of color when painting the musicians, he gives a nice pattern of blue and white, red and yellow, blue, and black clothes. And as you can tell his whole painting is made up of shapes, both Geometric and Organic. The organic shapes include the head of the musicians and their instruments. The geometric shapes are found in the legs and songbook. 


When we look at this painting we can hear a message of calm in the storm, what this means is that we have a big jumble of musicians and then the background is a nice smooth color. For some people, the painting is full of energy, and happy music, 6th Grade Student Owen Labay says that, “ It makes me feel happy and energized, this painting has bright colors, and if they were actually playing music I would think they would be playing something upbeat.”


It also can remind us that when we are feeling stressed we can start listening to music and that might help us calm down. Just like professor Neely Carter says, “This painting makes me feel relaxed because it looks like a chill music session.” Personally, I think that this piece of artwork is extremely abstract and beautiful. The different colors and shapes combine very well. Now you probably can tell Pablo Picasso’s painting can be a little weird at first glance but if you look closer you will discover that there is real impactful meaning in the work.


Professor Tina Alwin made a great point saying that “This painting makes you think of how important music is to so many people. This looks like a group of friends having a great time, sharing their love of music.  


Everyone has a different opinion on this painting,


6th Grade Student Daniel Sokoll says-

“This painting makes me feel happy and relaxed, because of all the colors.”


Professor John Bowman says-

“The painting makes me feel happy because I love music and I love the unique way that musicians are depicted in the painting.”


6th-grade student Haley Travis says-

“It makes me feel happy because of the colors.”


5th Grade student Dawson Baker says- 

“It makes me feel weird.”  


6th Grade student Sofia Lopez says-

“When I look at this painting it makes me feel festive because of all the colors.”


Anonymous says- 

“It makes me feel happy because of the bright colors.”


6th Grade Student Vivien Phillips says- 

“It makes me feel excited because the bright colors pop out to me!”


Professor Nichole Harbison says- 

“It makes me feel disconcerted, maybe the straight lines or the flat feeling of the image make me feel like that. Cubism isn’t really my jam but it’s interesting to think about.”


9th Grade student Brook Bolinger says- 

“This painting makes me feel excited and uplifted, joyous, and thrilled. It makes me feel like this because the people in the painting are performing music, which always makes me happy. Yes, the people look strange, which  makes me feel odd, but overall it is a happy tone.”


9th Grade student Kat Russel says-

“The painting makes me feel slightly overwhelmed, because all the bright colors & music are just out there in my face.”