©Pablo Picasso - 1905-1906 Fernande with a Black Mantilla

Picasso 1905-1906 Fernande with a Black Mantilla
Fernande with a Black Mantilla
1905-1906 100x81cm oil/canvas
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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From The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation:
Picasso’s attention soon shifted from the creation of social and quasi-religious allegories to an investigation of space, volume, and perception, culminating in the invention of Cubism. His portrait Fernande with a Black Mantilla is a transitional work. Still somewhat expressionistic and romantic, with its subdued tonality and lively brushstrokes, the picture depicts his mistress Fernande Olivier wearing a mantilla, which perhaps symbolizes the artist’s Spanish origins. The iconic stylization of her face and its abbreviated features, however, foretell Picasso’s increasing interest in the abstract qualities and solidity of Iberian sculpture, which would profoundly influence his subsequent works. Though naturalistically delineated, the painting presages his imminent experiments with abstraction.
Nancy Spector