© Pablo Picasso / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Pablo Picasso: Weeping Women

During the Spanish Civil War, Pablo Picasso created a series of agonizing protest works, including his masterwork Guernica and several “Weeping Women” who represented the nation’s collective suffering after the 1937 Nazi aerial attack on the village of Guernica. The “Weeping Women” are Picasso’s take on the Mater Dolorosa (Latin for “Sorrowful Mother”), which historically depicts a tearful Virgin Mary over the body of her dead son—though the twisted features of Picasso’s tortured figures were based on his muse and mistress Dora Maar, a raven-haired photographer he often called his own weeping woman. Picasso’s paintings and works on paper depict her features as agonized knots of cubist shapes, and they remain highly sought after. In 2011, a 1937 etching of a suffering Maar fetched $5.1 million at a Christie’s auction.

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