Seated Nude and Standing Nude

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973

Geography:
Made in France, Europe

Date:
1906

Medium:
Charcoal and crayon on cream laid paper

Dimensions:
Sheet: 25 1/16 x 18 13/16 inches (63.7 x 47.8 cm)

Copyright:
© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1950-134-162

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Label:
This drawing epitomizes Picasso's response to an exhibition of ancient Iberian sculpture excavated from Osuna in southern Spain, which was held at the Louvre Museum in Paris in the spring of 1906. From the Iberian carvings the artist derived the large, heavy-lidded eyes, the strongly marked brows that continue into the nose in one continuous curve, the long ears, and the inscrutable, masklike cast of the facial features of the seated female nude. However, the hieratic pose of the standing figure and the position of the bent arms of both women suggest that he was also looking at ancient Greek sculpture.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    During the early months of 1907, just before he created the groundbreaking painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Pablo Picasso's art entered a phase of austere and monumental classicism, stripped of sentiment or narrative expression. This large, highly finished charcoal drawing epitomizes that moment, during which Picasso was inspired by two powerful, ancient sculptural styles: The masklike faces of the squat yet statuesque women, with their heavy eyelids and stylized, arched brows, find their origin in the Iberian sculptures that Picasso had seen in an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris in 1906, while their severe planar poses and hieratic gestures recall archaic and classical Greek sculptures, which the artist would also have seen in the Louvre, particularly the mourners in Greek grave reliefs who similarly stand or sit in shallow, curtained spaces. Innis Howe Shoemaker, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 236.