Pablo Picasso, ‘Tête de femme (Dora Maar),  1st May 1944’, 1944, Opera Gallery
Pablo Picasso, ‘Tête de femme (Dora Maar),  1st May 1944’, 1944, Opera Gallery

PUBLIC NOTES: Often comparing his paintings to the pages of a journal, Picasso’s wives, muses and mistresses famously had an enormous impact on his art. In the early 1940s, his muse Marie-Thérèse was replaced by Dora Maar, who shortly after was replaced by his contentious lover Françoise Gilot; the woman who would come to rattle the artist when she walked out on him in 1953, taking their two children and retreating to Paris. Dora Maar was the subject of many of Picasso’s drawing in the early 1940s, while Gilot was the subject of much of his work later in the decade.

Signature: Signed ‘Picasso’ (lower right) Claude-Ruiz Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 13 : œuvres de 1943 et de 1944, Éditions Cahiers d’Art, Paris, 2013, No. 268, ill. p. 132
The Picasso Project 1940-1944, No. 44-060, ill. p. 336

Galerie Louis Carré, Paris
Diego della Valle, Milan
Sale: Sotheby’s London, 26 March 1985, lot 51
Private collection
Sale: Franco Semanzato, Milan, 16 December 1998, lot 240
Carlo Corbelli, Brescia
Private collection

About Pablo Picasso

A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. “Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.

Spanish, 1881-1973, Malaga, Spain, based in Paris and Mougins, France