Picassomania / Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Tête de femme No 2. Portrait de Dora Maar, 1939 This work is from the edition of 104, printed by Lacourière, published by Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1942
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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
aquatint and drypoint in colours, on laid Montval paper with Picasso watermark
45.5 x 33.5cm (17 15/16 x 13 3/16in).
This work is from the edition of 104, printed by Lacourière, published by Ambroise Vollard, Paris, 1942
Private Collection, Chicago.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Georges Bloch, Catalogue de l'oeuvre gravé et lithographié, Volume I, 1904-1967, Berne, 1968 (Bl.1340).
Geiser & Baer, Picasso Peintre-graveur, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre gravé, Volume III, 1935-1945, Berne, 1986 (B.650.D)
Although Pablo Picasso is often remembered for his string of muses, mistresses and lovers throughout his long career, there are few who compare in significance and influence to Dora Maar. Her relationship with the Picasso lasted almost a decade and had a profound effect on both their careers. The couple met after being introduced by Paul Eluard when Maar was 29 and Picasso 54. Over the following years, she became an integral part of his life; helping him move apartments, sitting for him while he painted and aiding him artistically in the creation of his masterpiece Guernica.
This portrait, with its striking cubist angels, was just one of the many portraits Picasso did of Maar throughout their passionate but also immensely complicated relationship. In contrast to some of Picasso more provocative portraits of Maar, most notably 'The Weeping Woman' where Picasso depicts her face disfigured and devastated by grief, this work shows her looking almost serene. The work is particularly evocative of Picasso's style in the late 30s.