In this delicate watercolor, Picasso freely adopted aspects of the African and Oceanic art he had seen during his frequent visits to the Musée d'Ethnographie du Trocadéro (now part of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris). It served as a study for a large painting also completed in spring 1908, "The Dryad" (The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg), which depicts a menacing female figure lumbering through a wooded landscape.
Inscription: Signed in graphite on verso, lower left: Picasso
[André Level, Paris, until 1927; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 3, 1927, no. 63, sold for Fr 3,900 to Loeb]; [Albert Loeb, Paris, from 1927]; Helena Rubinstein, Paris and New York (by 1940–66; her sale, Parke Bernet Galleries, New York, April 28, 1966, no. 810, sold to Thaw); [E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc., New York, 1966–67; sold on October 31, 1967 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1967–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
Washington D.C. Mayflower. "Exhibition of Modern Paintings, Drawings, and Primitive African Sculpture from the Collection of Helena Rubinstein," March 5–6, 1940, no. 6.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 101).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar," June–September 14, 1994, not in catalogue.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 125).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 44.
André Level. Picasso. Paris, 1928, pp. 30, 54, no. 14, ill.
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 2b, Works from 1912 to 1917. Paris, 1942, p. 303, no. 682, ill.
Franco Russoli and Fiorella Minervino. L'opera completa di Picasso cubista. Milan, 1972, p. 90, no. 52, ill.
Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet. Picasso, The Cubist Years, 1907–1916: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works. Boston, 1979, pp. 8, 216, no. 137, ill.
John Russell. "20th-Century Works Collected By a Couple With a Shared Vision." New York Times (December 12, 1989), p. C19, ill. p. C24 (detail).
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: Cubism, 1907–1917. New York, 1990, pp. 103, 498, no. 278, ill.
Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, p. 354.