©Pablo Picasso - Weeping Woman 1937

Picasso Seated Woman. Dora 1938
Seated Woman. Dora
1938 76x56cm Ink, gouache, and coloured chalk on paper
Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland

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From Fondation Beyeler, Switzerland:
On 27 April 1938 Picasso sketched the head and shoulders of Dora, seated and wearing a hat. With ears and eyes that look as if they have been glued on, her appearance is as constructed as the chair she is sitting on. The figure and the furniture are also joined together by the lines of ink crisscrossing the picture like a cobweb. In conjunction with Dora‘s dejected gaze, they create an impression of a figure in captivity, contrasting with the gaiety of the colouring. In further drawings made over the following days, Picasso extended his portrayal of the seated Dora to include her full body, a pictorial idea that on 31 May culminated in this outstanding large painting in the Fondation’s collection. Here, all whimsical, burlesque elements have been dismissed: like a prison cell, grey walls surround the depicted figure on all sides. An enormous assembly of clunky forms resembling an insect-like monument, both terrifying and terrified in one, Dora is enthroned on the skeleton of a chair. The chair has fully merged with the body and is reminiscent of a torture rack, with the body’s limbs draped across chair’s armrests as if mounted on the beams of a cross. Yet in the drawing from 4 July 1938, also in the Fondation’s collection, which shows Dora coquettishly raising her hand to her mouth, Picasso reverts the massive, sombre composition back into a mood of surreal levity.