Head of a Woman

Pablo Picasso Spanish

Not on view

With one continuous black line, Picasso drew this image reminiscent of a misshapen boomerang. He then added details that evoke a ferocious female seen in profile: two oddly shaped eyes, a set of tiny nostrils, three hairs, and four nails for teeth. This work belongs to a series of sixteen paintings of similarly terrifying women. The context was the irreverence fostered by Picasso's Surrealist friends, but the subject is his deteriorating marriage to the Russian dancer Olga Kokhlova, who, despairing over Picasso's loss of interest, had become emotionally unstable. Picasso had by that time already met his next lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, although Olga would not know it until 1935.

Head of a Woman, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France), Oil and charcoal on canvas

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