This drawing of a muscular, kneeling nude is a study for the leftmost figure in Picasso’s large painting Three Women (1907–8; The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg), an important work in the artist’s development of Cubism. Here, the torso, raised arm, and head are broken into planar, interlocking forms. Picasso’s ongoing interest in African art is apparent in the figure’s masklike face and in his treatment of the body, which appears almost carved or hewn from wood with its angled facets and hatched lines.
Inscription: Signed in brown ink, lower right: Picasso
[Yvonne Zervos, Paris, by 1942]; [Berggruen et Cie, Paris]; [Curt Valentin, New York]; Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York (by 1957–78; sold on January 8, 1978, through Harold Diamond, New York, to Gelman); Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1978–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
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