One starts by wondering – whether it is true that one drinks from a glass and ends with no longer knowing whether the glass exists
Jean-Paul Sartre


Pablo Picasso, “Two Women at the Bar/Prostitutes in a Bar”, Barcelona, 1902

Is it the murmur of absinthe that lures the visitors to the blue bar? Or some other hint of mood? There are two of them but one presence. Their dresses seems to be slipping down with a magic slowness. For them nudity is a slow, gradual melancholy. Be dressed or nude is the same. To be nude is to be dressed by the bar.

The crude word prostitute is not relevant in blue bar. Here, undressing is desirously sad, sublimely solemn, and nudity is naturally elegant. Modern societies need male soldiers and female teachers, nurses, women’s pregnancies with male support. And it needs workers and entertainers of both genders and, of course, businessmen and secretaries, etc.,. But Picasso’s blue women undress before a glass of absinthe! The woman on the left is already losing her dress, while the woman on the right her blouse. But both women seem tender – they don’t belong to our today’s world. They’re doomed, not to die but… for avoiding life. Whose face is reflected on the glass? The one on the right or left? May be, both, but we can’t see it. What we see is our own faces, the viewers of the painting, reflected on the glass. Or we just think it is. But we like to think its theirs.

But we have to try to understand why the melancholically tender women are so sad. May be, because they are just in the process of getting rid of their bodies by gently melting. They want to live in their tender and… positive melancholy. The two anonymous faces have turned away from us with their… gentleness forever. They’re – contemplation without contemplating gazes or moods.

We will not compare the sublime sadness of Picasso’ blue women with today’s gluttonous drug consumption when people have lost and are out of touch with life around. Blue period atmosphere is the capacity to live with a gracious sadness of quiet contemplation without the pushing of impulses, characterizing our noisy, aggressive, competitive restlessness.