Picasso painted this portrait of Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (1907–1997), then his lover, during their yearlong sojourn at Royan, a small town on France’s southern Atlantic coast, from which they witnessed the outbreak of World War II. Her face and body have been radically distorted. The garish background, with its irregular patterns that seem to tilt and sway, might represent the wallpaper that decorated their rooms at the Hôtel du Tigre.
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Inscription: Signed and dated (lower center): 26.10.39 / Picasso; inscribed and dated (verso, in black paint, upper right): Royan / 26.10.39
[Louis Carré, Paris and New York]; [Pierre Colle, Paris]; probably Sidney Janis, New York (possibly by 1946); [Perls Galleries (Klaus G. Perls), New York, by 1965; stock no. 6581]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York (until 1998; their gift to MMA)
New York. Perls Galleries. "Pablo Picasso: Highlights in Retrospect," October 12–November 20, 1965, no. 16 (as "Dora Maar Assise," lent by a private collection).
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. "La peinture française: Collections américaines," May 13–September 15, 1966, no. 144.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Exposition Picasso," October 15–December 4, 1977, no. 49.
Nagoya. Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. "Exposition Picasso," December 13–26, 1977, no. 49.
Cultural Center of Fukuoka. "Exposition Picasso," January 5–22, 1978, no. 49.
Kyoto. National Museum of Modern Art. "Exposition Picasso," January 28–March 5, 1978, no. 49.
New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective," May 22–September 16, 1980, unnumbered cat. (p. 363).
Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "'... und nicht die leiseste Spur einer Vorschrift'—Positionen unabhängiger Kunst in Europa um 1937," December 4, 1987–January 31, 1988, not in catalogue.
Cologne. Museum Ludwig. "Picasso im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1939 bis 1945," April 27–June 19, 1988, no. 3.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar," June 12–September 4, 1994, not in catalogue (brochure no. 79; as "Dora Maar Seated," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Klaus Perls, New York).
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. 113).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 86.
Harriet and Sidney Janis. Picasso: The Recent Years, 1939–1946. Garden City, N. Y., 1946, pl. 75, call it "Seated Woman before a Figured Background" and date it October 1941.
Pierre Cabanne. Le Siècle de Picasso, I: La Jeunesse, le cubisme, le théâtre, l'amour, 1881–1937. Paris, 1975, ill. between pp. 344 and 345.
Richard David Story. "The Tops in Town this Week." New York Magazine (June 20, 1994), p. 33.
J[ason]. E[dward]. K[aufman]. "Perls Adds Gems to the Met." Art Newspaper no. 61 (July–August 1996), p. 14.
"Treasures for Met." Los Angeles Times (May 21, 1996), p. F2.
Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions. A Selection: 1997–1998." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 56 (Fall 1998), p. 64, ill. (color).
Mariel Jardines. The Picasso Project: Picasso's Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings, and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue, 1885–1973. Ed. Herschel Chipp Alan Wofsy. Vol. 7, Europe at War, 1939–1940. San Francisco, 1998, p. 65, no. 39-347, ill.
Gary Tinterow inPicasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Susan Alyson Stein. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, p. 12.
Sabine Rewald inPicasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Susan Alyson Stein. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 232–33, no. 86, ill. (color).
Shawn Digney-Peer inPicasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Susan Alyson Stein. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 232, 234, fig. 86.1 (X-radiograph).
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Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)
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