In 1937, Maar’s career underwent a major shift. That year, Picasso received his commission to paint his master canvas Guernica, which Maar documented through hundreds of photos published in the art journal Cahiers d’Art. It was also the year that she inspired around 60 of his “Weeping Woman” paintings, drawings, and etchings, not knowing how much they would come to define her. Lastly, it was the year Picasso urged her to abandon photography and return to painting.
Up until that year, Maar had established herself as a driving force within advertising photography. From 1932 to around 1935, she ran a studio with art director Pierre Kéfer and, later, her work was often misattributed to him. At the time, Maar was known for her breadth of commissions; she shot for literary outlets, beauty brands, art publications, and fashion and erotic magazines.