Faun with Stars

Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)

Date: 1955

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 36 x 28 1/2 in. (91.4 x 72.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Joseph H. Hazen, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.305

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


In 1955, when this picture was done, Picasso was once again in love, this time with Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986), a beautiful young woman whom he had met the previous summer and later married (1961). At the time of this painting, she was about twenty-eight years old and he seventy-four. Picasso's choice of imagery-a grizzled, starry-eyed faun and a nubile nymph playing a pipe-is symbolic of his romantic thoughts. Such figures from mythology-nymphs, satyrs, fauns, centaurs, and minotaurs-had populated his work in the 1920s and '30s and often substituted as self-portraits in narratives about love and lust, just as they do here. The very decorative and playful graphic style that Picasso adopted in works such as this characterize his late style and relate specifically to his painted ceramic oeuvre that he began making in 1947.