Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Head of a Woman

Artist:
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )
Date:
1909
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
16 x 10 1/4 x 10 in. (40.6 x 26 x 25.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1995
Accession Number:
1996.403.6
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 908
This is Picasso’s first Cubist sculpture and one of more than sixty Cubist paintings, sculptures, and drawings the artist made of his lover Fernande Olivier in 1909. Picasso modeled the bust in Paris after the couple returned from a summer trip to Spain. As in his early Cubist paintings, the shape of her sculpted head is faceted into smaller units. Intended to be seen in the round, the composition changes form when viewed from different angles. The head’s slight tilt and the neck’s sweeping curves give the impression of movement, as if she is about to look over her shoulder.
Inscription: Incised on reverse: Picasso
[Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York, by 1949–51; possibly purchased on July 12, 1949 from Henri Kaeser, Lausanne; sold on May 7, 1951, for $2,200 to Marx]; Samuel and Florene Marx, Chicago (1951–his d. 1964); Florene May Marx, later Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn, New York (1964–d. 1995; on extended loan to MMA, from 1985; her bequest to MMA)

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Sculpture of the Twentieth Century," April 28–September 7, 1953, no. 89 (as "Woman's Head," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Marx, Chicago).

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Fred Licht. Sculpture, 19th and 20th Centuries. Greenwich, 1967, p. 332, no. 219, ill.

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