Woman Ironing

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )

Oil on canvas, mounted on cardboard
19 1/2 x 10 1/8 in. (49.5 x 25.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Laundresses were famously the subject of Honoré Daumier, who was given a large exhibition in Paris in 1901. They were also painted by Edgar Degas, although very few of his works were displayed publicly in Paris at the turn of the century. Daumier's lithographs were passed around the studios of Barcelona, as were the few illustrated books on Degas's work.

    Picasso's laundress is much more abject than those of either of his French antecedents; the bleak mood of the painting recalls that found in the work of the Catalan painter Isidre Nonell. Picasso gave this painting to his friend Jaime Sabartés, a poet. Alfred Stieglitz, the New York photographer and art dealer, bought it in 1912.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and inscribed (etched into surface) in dark blue paint, upper right: a jacobus / sabartes / - ¦Picasso¦ -

  • Provenance

    Jaime Sabartés, Barcelona (1901–12; gift of the artist; sold to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (1912–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA, 1949)

  • Exhibition History

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "History of an American, Alfred Stieglitz: "291" and After, Selections from the Stieglitz Collection," July 1–November 1, 1944, no. 89.

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Exhibition: His Collection," June 10–August 31, 1947, no catalogue (checklist no. 89).

    Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 11).

    Nashville. Fisk University. "36th Annual Festival of Music and Art," April 28–May 2, 1965 (extended to June 10, 1965), unnumbered cat.

    Kunstmuseum Bern. "Der Junge Picasso: Frühwerk und Blaue Periode," December 6, 1984–February 17, 1985, no. 142.

    Charleroi. Palais des Beaux Arts. "Picasso, Miró, Dalí: Évocations d'Espagne," September 24–December 22, 1985, no. 19.

    Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 161.

    Paris. Museé Picasso. "Paris 1901–1909: Chefs d'oeuvre du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," October 21, 1998–January 25, 1999, unnumbered cat. (fig. 30).

    Portland, Me. Portland Museum of Art. "Picasso's Human Vision," May 29–September 6, 1999, no catalogue (checklist no. 1).

    Cleveland. Cleveland Museum of Art. "Barcelona and Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí, Miró, Dalí," October 15, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 4:13.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barcelona and Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí, Miró, Dalí," March 6–June 3, 2007, no. 4:13.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 18.

    Florence. Palazzo Strozzi. "Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry Young Men: The Birth of Modernity," March 12–July 17, 2011, no. 4.6.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 22.

  • References

    Jaime Sabartés. Picasso: Retratos y recuerdos. Madrid, 1953, pp. 113, 250–51, pl. 13.

    Frank Elgar and Robert Maillard. Picasso: Étude de l'oeuvre. Paris, 1955, p. 264, ill.

    Pierre Daix and Georges Boudaille. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, 1900–1906. Greenwich, Conn., 1967, p. 202, no. VI.27, ill.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 229–30.

    Paolo Lecaldano. L'opera completa di Picasso blu e rosa. Milan, 1968, p. 88, no. 13, ill.

    Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 21,Supplément aux anneés 1892 1902. Paris, 1969, p. 100, no. 263, ill.

    George Heard Hamilton. "The Alfred Stieglitz Collection." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), p. 379.

    Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: The Early Years, 1881–1907. New York, 1981, pp. 275, 536, no. 692, ill.

    Laszlo Glozer. Picasso: Les Chefs–d'oeuvre de la Pèriode bleue, 38 tableaux. Munich, 1988, p. 19, pl. II.

    Denys Chevalier. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods. New York, 1991, p. 53, ill.

    John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 1, 1881–1906. New York, 1991, p. 222, ill.

    Pierre Daix. Dictionnaire Picasso. Paris, 1995, pp. 393, 566, 686, 783.

    Octavi Marti. "Paris exhibe los inquietos Picassos de la juventud viajera del pintor." El País (November 2, 1998), p. 39.

    Meyer Schapiro. The Unity of Picasso's Art. New York, 2000, pp. 11, 187, fig. 14.

    Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, pp. 359, 362.

    José Luis Diez in Picasso: Tradition and Avant Garde. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2006, pp. 84, 87, fig. 2.1.

    Anna Reuter in Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso. Eds. Carmen Giménez and Francisco Calvo Serraller.

    Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 2006, p. 226.

  • See also