Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973)

Woman Resting her Head on her Hand (portrait of Dora Maar)

Pen and India ink on paper
Signed and dated ‘Picasso 7.11.43.’ (lower left) 
12 7/8 x 10 in. (32.7 x 25.4 cm.)
Drawn on 7 November 1943

Provenance:
– Bouquinerie de l’Institut, Paris – Professor Roland Doschka, Germany – Würth Collection.

Literature:
-C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1962, vol. 13, no. 180 (illustrated, pl. 91).
-The Picasso Project, Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: 1940- 1944, San Francisco, 1999, p. 282, no. 43-283 (illustrated).
-Catalogue of the Museum Würth exhibition, « Il Mondo Fantastico di Picasso » Palazzo Dei Normanni Palermo, 05 Oct. 2008-08 March 2009, illustrated.

Exhibitions:
-Bouquinerie de l’Institut, Paris.
-Museum Würth, « Il Mondo Fantastico di Picasso » Palazzo Dei Normanni Palermo, 05 Oct. 2008-08 March 2009.
-Art Forum Würth, Capena (Roma) 21 March 2009-8 August 2009

-Certificate by Maya Picasso  -Certificate by Claude Ruiz-Picasso

 Size with frame: 26 1/2 x 24 1/2 in. / 67,5 x 62 cm

  • “This ink drawing impresses by the polymorphous and three-dimensional aspect with which Picasso depicts the female subject. The portrait is a frontal representation of Dora Maar to which is added the depiction of her profile seen from right and from left. Her head resting on the arm in a thoughtful attitude recalls stylistically the drawing «Melencolia» by Albrecht Durer but, beyond that reference, the work combines together the features of Dora Maar and those of the former companion of Picasso, the young Marie-Thérèse Walter, her great rival. The dreamy character of Marie-Thérèse meets the tension of Dora Maar’s face deeply upset. The portrait plays with the dialectical tension between directly perceptible elements and the meandering, remote and mysterious ones.” “Il Mondo Fantastico di Picasso”, text of the exhibition catalogue:
  • This portrait of Dora Maar stylistically recalls Albrecht ’s influential Melencolia (also a reference for Rodin and his Thinker). Picasso was a great admirer of Dürer and owned at least one original print by the artist, given to him by Max Jacob. He also owned an expensive German edition of reproductions of Dürer’s work.

At the end of 1943, the relationship between Picasso and Dora Maar was under severe strain. In May, Picasso met Françoise Gilot, 20 years younger than Dora and 40 years younger than him. Dora’s state of mind became increasingly unstable. She had already shared Picasso with Marie-Thérèse and their daughter Maya for years.