Modern and Contemporary Art
Head of a Woman
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973
Oil on canvas
Currently not on view
2004-9-1Gift of Muriel and Philip Berman in honor of Dr. Luther W. Brady, Jr., 2004
LabelPainted in June 1938 in the fishing village of Mougins in the south of France, Head of a Woman is informed by the coastal motifs that Picasso discovered there. The curving profile of the head resembles that of a sea horse, while the image's fantastical anatomical liberties suggest that the artist was revisiting the erotic, Surrealist-inspired paintings he made by the sea a decade earlier, such as Bather, Design for a Monument (Dinard). Picasso emphasized the emotional content of this somber, grisaille painting by dislocating the facial features and extremities of Dora Maar, a young photographer associated with the Surrealist movement, who became Picasso's model and companion in 1936.