©Pablo Picasso - Head of woman 1921

Picasso Head of woman 1921
Head of woman
1921 63x48cm pastel/paper
Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland

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From Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland:
As the Fondation’s only work from Picasso’s ‘classical period’ in the early 1920s, this pastel drawing represents a transition between the Spanish artist’s cubist and his surrealist works. It was executed in 1921 as a study for the large painting Three Women at the Spring (Museum of Modern Art, New York) and relates directly to the head of the woman on the left of the painting who is waiting to fill her jar with water. But unlike the painting, the woman in Tête de Femme is not peering absent-mindedly down at her companion but gazing out with alert eyes to the right. It is as if she had been withdrawn from the context of the large composition and now finds herself alone. Another difference is the pastel’s blue background as opposed to the earth-coloured ground in the painting. In the pastel Picasso is masterfully playing with the idea of having modelled a classical head as a sculptor which he then brings to life as a painter.