Picasso first met Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986) in Vallauris in the summer of 1952. They were married in 1961. He recorded her distinctive features-high cheekbones, enormous eyes, and dark, straight hair-in hundreds of works in a variety of styles between 1954 and 1972.
Head of a Woman appears to be the culmination of a series of ten wash drawings made on November 12, 1960. They in turn derive from several paintings from 1949 of Picasso's former mistress, Françoise Gilot. In recapitulating these earlier works, Picasso essentially transmuted images of Françoise into this 1960 portrait of Jacqueline.