Picasso shares with many contemporary painters the urge to work in sculpture. In this he is unquestionably motivated by the desire to achieve a higher degree of reality, which was also the primary reason for his interest in ceramics. Because the sculptor deals with three dimensions, he can react to any object in the environment with an immediacy that is denied to the painter. For instance: a natural object can serve, without any change, as the starting point or component part of a sculptural work. Spontaneity of response and inventiveness are prime characteristics of Picasso's unique talent, but the actual modeling of his sculptures often fails to meet the specific requirements of this art. We would not do justice to his sculptural work were we to judge it by standards that can be properly applied only to a professional sculptor. This, incidentally, is true of the sculptural work of any painter, even Renoir. The charm and uniqueness of such works can be understood only in terms of the pictorial style of their creators. Picasso's early sculptures are particularly close to his paintings in those years, and both can be considered together; in later periods, however, they seem to be more independent. His sculptures rarely reveal the continuity we have repeatedly found in considering his paintings. On the other hand, Picasso has occasionally anticipated and stimulated modern sculptors through his own inventions.
"Documents" page 505
The plastic style of the Harlequin busts (page 460) or of the contemporary Head of a Woman, of 1905, is obviously related to the style of that year's paintings which represent similar subjects. The delicate, vibrant treatment of the surface of the sculptured head is matched by the soft, fluid modeling of the painted figures, and the sensitive facial features are treated with equal delicacy in both. It is as though one of those painted figures had been translated into bronze. If this bust, with its surface largely dissolved into minute patches of light and shadow, still bears some likeness to Rodin's portrait busts, the small bronze Head of 1906 (page 433), with its compact, symmetrical, and heavily rounded forms might suggest an affinity with Maillol. Despite their proximity in time, these heads come from two distinct artistic periods, separated by Picasso's summer at Gosol in 1906: the first head is some-