Inspired by the portraits of French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, Picasso returned often to the subject of a solitary seated woman. This painting is part of a small group of works created in the fall and winter of 1909–10 and reveals Picasso’s desire to meld the figure with its environment by leveling distinctions between volumetric forms and empty spaces. Many of the artist’s numerous changes to the composition are readily apparent, including the reduction in size of the figure’s head.
Inscription: Signed, lower left: Picasso
[Paul Guillaume, Paris, by 1929–d. 1934]; his widow, Domenica Guillaume, née Juliette Lacaze, later Mme Jean Walter, Paris (from 1934); Jacques Sarlie, New York (by 1954; his sale, Sotheby's, London, October 12, 1960, no. 10, for £30,000, through Kirnberger, to Perls); [Perls Galleries (Klaus G. Perls), New York, from 1960, stock no. 6410]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls (until 1997; their gift to MMA)
Paris. Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. "La Grande peinture contemporaine à la collection Paul Guillaume," May 25–June 27, 1929, unnumbered cat. (p. 123).
New York. Perls Galleries. "The Perls Galleries Collection of Modern French Paintings," March 8–May 15, 1954, no. 3.
New York. Perls Galleries. "21 Major Acquisitions," October 10–November 25, 1961, no. 14.
New York. M. Knoedler and Co., Inc. "Picasso: An American Tribute. 1895–1909," April 25–May 12, 1962, no. 43.
New York. Perls Galleries. "Pablo Picasso: Highlights in Retrospect," October 12–November 20, 1965, no. 1.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 67 and brochure no 2).
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 15.
Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 15.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 51.
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 2a, Works from 1906 to 1912. Paris, 1942, p. 98, no. 198, ill.
Jaime Sabartés. Paintings and Drawings of Picasso. Paris, 1946, pl. 6.
Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet. Picasso, The Cubist Years, 1907–1916: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works. Boston, 1979, p. 252, no. 333, ill.
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: Cubism, 1907–1917. New York, 1990, pp. 166–67, 502, no. 470, ill.
Colette Giraudon. Paul Guillaume et les peintres du XXe siècle: De l'art nègre à l'avant-garde. Paris, 1993, p. 103, ill.
John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 2, 1907–1917. New York, 1996, p. 145, ill.
J[ason]. E[dward]. K[aufman]. "Perls Adds Gems to the Met." Art Newspaper no. 61 (July–August 1996), p. 14.
Carol Vogel. "32 Works of Art by Masters Left to Met and the Modern." New York Times (November 25, 1996), p. C11.
"Treasures for Met." Los Angeles Times (May 21, 1996), p. F2.
Pierre Georgel. From Renoir to Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée de l'Orangerie. Exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Montreal, 2000, p. 68, ill. p. 36 (installation photo of Exh. Paris 1929).
Pepe Karmel. Picasso and the Invention of Cubism. New Haven, 2003, pp. 69–70, 124–25, figs. 83, 142.
Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, p. 371.
William Grimes. "Klaus Perls, Art Dealer Who Gave Picassos to the Met, Dies at 96." New York Times (June 5, 2008), p. B6.