Pablo Picasso
Bust of a Woman 1909

Artwork details

Pablo Picasso 1881–1973
Bust of a Woman
Buste de femme
Date 1909
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 727 x 600 mm
frame: 911 x 799 x 81 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1949

Display caption

The treatment of the human figure in the Cubist paintings of Picasso and Braque is often reminiscent of sculpture. In this work, made in mid-1909, Picasso used planes of warm greys and burnt sienna to establish the bulk of the body. The shifting directions of the brushstrokes indicate the depth of the surfaces and enhance individual features such as the conical socket of the eye. Such techniques were inspired by African sculptures. The poet André Salmon described Picasso’s studio as filled with the ‘strange wooden grimaces... [of] a superb selection of African and Polynesian sculpture’.

July 2013

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