The first thing we notice in Picasso's handwriting is
the emotional volatility. Picasso was emotional dynamite and there is
evidence of a somewhat manic quality.
The sample below reflects clearly how he felt at the
time of writing -irritable, angry and dictatorial. The sharp choppiness,
the angles and distortions all add thrust to the total picture.
In his handwriting we can see the almost chaotic variations
of slant, wild disorder and a complete disregard of the conventions of
Contorted words surrender most of their legibility to
the authority of his dynamic will. Great waves of unruly passion stir in
the depths of the darker strokes.
His mood is volatile, angry and brooding. Note how the
word "mort" or death, is larger than all the other words. It shows
frustration and anger amidst the chaos and creativity
Picasso formed his letters as he wielded his paintbrush
- with a confident type of independence. He rejected every vestige of
The movement in his handwriting is free and
unconstrained, while the actual structures show innovation and
Picasso’s imagination has free rein; improvisation
rules, and reality is bent and contorted to his will.
But not only is there emotional fire in this
handwriting; a fire that feeds the furnace of his creativity - there is
also brilliance of mind.
We see this in the angles and sharp points, in the
reduction of the forms to their skeletal simplicity, and in the obvious
impatience with the letter formations themselves as if they were merely
ineffectual vehicles for his racing thoughts.
Imaginative, original and wildly creative, Picasso was a
law unto himself. His handwriting shows it.
This is a Brief Excerpt from
The Mark of Genius