Head of a Woman

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973

Made in France, Europe


Oil on cardboard

18 1/2 x 12 inches (47 x 30.5 cm)

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

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 163, European Art 1850-1900, first floor (Gray Charitable Trust Gallery II)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Lisa Norris Elkins, 1950

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José Viñes, Paris, before 1936 [1]; Ricardo Viñes, Paris [2]; collection "d'A." (d'Arenberg collection?), The Hague, Netherlands [3]. With M. Knoedler & Co., New York, by October 1938 [4]. With Doll & Richards, Boston, as of 1943 [5]. William M. Elkins (1882-1947) and his wife Elizabeth "Lisa" C. Norris Elkins (1898-1950), Philadelphia, by 1947 [6]; Elizabeth "Lisa" C. Norris Elkins; bequest to PMA, 1950. 1. See Zervos, Picasso, v. 1, [1936?], no. 73, "anc[iennement] coll. José Viñes, Paris," and Daix, Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods, 1967, no. V.58. José Viñes, a friend of Picasso, was the father of the painter Hernando Viñes and the older brother of the eminent Catalan pianist Ricardo Viñes (1875-1943, also spelled Vinès), a champion of modern music and member of Picasso's Montmartre circle of composers, writers and painters; see John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, vol. 2: 1907-1917, New York, 1996, p. 187; and Alain Gobin, Hernando Viñes: Sa vie - son oeuvre, Paris, 1997, p. 10-13, 21. 2. Published by Merli, Picasso, [1942], p. 140, as "Coll. Ricard Viñes, Paris," although this name is not given in the Daix catalogue raisonné nor in the provenance listed in the 1940 French Art Galleries exhibition. If Merli is correct, this is presumably José Viñes' younger brother Ricardo (see above), who owned other early works by Picasso, including "Courtesan with Jewel Collar," 1901 (Zervos no. 42; see also nos. 184 and 186; Daix no. VI.17). However, although Merli's 1942 monograph credits the painting to Viñes' collection, it was with Knoedler as early as 1938 (see note 4)--possibly on consignment? 3. The French Art Galleries exhibition, "Women and Children in French Painting," 1940, lists the former collections as José Viñes, Paris, and "d'A., The Hague" (possibly the Duc d'Arenberg collection?). 4. The painting was lent by Knoedler & Co. to the exhibition "Picasso / Henri-Matisse" at the Boston Museum of Modern Art (later the Institute of Contemporary Art), October 19-November 11, 1938. 5. Exhibited Doll & Richards, "French Painters of the Twentieth Century," November 16-December 4, 1943, no. 12. 6. Mrs. and Mrs. Elkins lent the painting to the PMA's 1947 exhibition, "Masterpieces of Philadelphia Private Collections."

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