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Femme assise (Dora Maar)
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About the item

This daring portrait of Dora Maar dates from the climax of her relationship with Picasso in 1943.   Through all the trials and tribulations of their near decade-long relationship, Picasso remained impressed by Maar’s powerful sense of self and commanding presence.  Their partnership had been one of intellectual exchange and intense passion, and Maar’s influence on Picasso over these years resulted in some of his most daring portraits of his near-century long career. The present work, in which Maar is pictured enthroned in an armchair, is rendered the dark brooding palette that Picasso employed during the war years. \nPicasso met Dora Maar, the Surrealist photographer, in the autumn of 1935 and became enchanted by the young woman’s powerful sense of self and commanding presence.  In the eight years that followed, Maar was Picasso’s principal model and the subject of some of his most iconic portraits.  Picasso painted the present work in 1944, about a year after he met the young painter Françoise Gilot, who would become his next lover and mother of his children.   By the beginning of 1944 Picasso had already become intimately involved with Gilot, and his artistic and romantic attention during this period was divided between the two women.\n\nThroughout the 1930s and until the end of his life, Picasso continually returned to the theme of a woman sitting in an armchair.  By the time he painted the present picture Picasso had incorporated Maar’s image into countless versions of this motif.  Unlike Marie-Thérèse Walter who had given birth to Picasso’s daughter Maya in 1935, Maar was an artist, spoke the artist’s native Spanish, and shared his intellectual and political concerns. And more than most of the women in his life thus far she was an intellectual equal – a characteristic that the artist found both stimulating and challenging.\n\nThe present composition is one of two depictions of Maar in an armchair that Picasso painted on September 23 in his studio on the Rue des Grands Augustins in Paris.  This was the same studio where he had painted his epic Guernica in 1937, when Dora made a series of photographs of his progress on the painting.  Maar’s work as a photographer impressed Picasso enough for him to think of her as a fellow artist, and this sentiment was still very much in his mind when he painted this dynamic picture.  Throughout the occupation of Paris, Picasso and Maar continued to work side by side in Paris, mainly because their freedom to travel was curtailed as a consequence of the war.   It was perhaps due to this confinement and the general stress of living through a war that lead to the deterioration of their relationship.  But the pictures that Picasso produced during this period are some of the most haunting and emotionally resonant of the era.\nSigned with the initial P. and dated 23 Sept 43 on the stretcher
US
NY, US
US

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Pablo Picasso

condition

Excellent condition. Original canvas. There is a 1-inch irregularity in the canvas weave just above the arm and in the chair on the lower left and another to the right of the figure's hair. Under UV, no evidence of retouching. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

dimensions

39 3/8 by 32 in.

exhibition

Mexico City, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Los Picassos de Picasso en México.  Una Exposicion Retrospectiva, 1982-83, no. 97, illustrated in color in the catalogue Zurich, Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Pablo Picasso.  Heads Faces Bodies, 2005, no. 9, illustrated in color in the catalogue

literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso.  Oeuvres de 1943 à 1944, vol. 13, Paris, 1962, no. 102, illustrated pl. 59 The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors and Sculpture.  A Comprehensive Catalogue 1885-1973.  Nazi Occupation, 1940-1944, San Francisco, 1999, no. 43-246, illustrated p. 267

provenance

Estate of the artist Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich Private Collection, United States

signedDate

Signed with the initial P. and dated 23 Sept 43 on the stretcher

time_period

Painted on September 23, 1943.

consignmentDesignation

Property from a Private American Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1881 - 1973


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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