here and here).
As I was working on this painting, I was deliberately looking for visual cultural links, idioms of the target language of my attempt at translation. However, a mysterious trickery of my brain created a kind of temporal amnesia as far as Picasso's treatment of Harlequin (and related paintings) are concerned. I've known and loved these paintings all my life, and yet I did not think once about them. My suspicion is that one side of me knew that if I "remembered" these paintings, I would simply abandon this project -- since they are really as close to the perfect counterpart of Blok's poem as humanely possible.
They did come back to me in the course of our Picasso challenge -- too late for me to abandon the painting, but just in time to remove the last stumbling block (the background and some aspects of its interaction with the figure).