Woman in White

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

Date: 1923

Medium: Oil, water-based paint, and crayon on canvas

Dimensions: 39 x 31 1/2 in. (99.1 x 80 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1951; acquired from The Museum of Modern Art, Lillie P. Bliss Collection

Accession Number: 53.140.4

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Picasso painted this work, one of his best-known neoclassical pictures, upon his return to Paris after a summer sojourn in Cap d'Antibes. There, he and his wife, Olga, socialized with the charismatic American expatriates Gerald and Sara Murphy. Because Sara Murphy had beautifully regular features, some writers believe that this canvas is a portrait of her. However, photographs that Picasso took of Olga posing in front of related classical heads demonstrate that at least she thought they were depictions of her.
This picture belonged to the New York collector Lillie P. Bliss, one of the founders of the Museum of Modern Art. She bequeathed the painting to the Modern, from whom the Metropolitan purchased the work in 1951 as part of a cooperative agreement (1947-53).