He’s toasting us with a cocktail. This interesting plate is part of the current Picasso exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. It is titled Cavalier Faun. The creature on the horse is a mythical faun, half goat and half human. If you look closely you can see his horns. One of the participants on a tour I led said the faces around the edge depict the crowd seated around the bull fighting ring.
With his drink glass tilted jauntily in one hand the faun isn’t as serious a picador as one might expect to see at a bullfight. His eyes are looking at us the viewers, rather than straight ahead to see where the horse is going. One gallery visitor on a tour I was leading said the line at the bottom of the horse makes it look almost like a toy rocking horse. They thought the horse looked a little bull legged.
The design The Cavalier Faun served Picasso well. He used it on many plain white earthenware plates and also on a series of gold medallions.
Picasso was born in Spain and attended many bullfights. His fascination with the sport is evidenced in other works currently on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery like the lino cut above called Le Banderilla.