Portrait de Dora Maar (Portrait of Dora Maar)

Pablo Picasso (Pablo Ruiz Picasso)

Malaga, Spain, 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973
  • Date: 
    1939 (March 27th)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on board
  • Dimensions: 
    60 x 45 cm
  • Category: 
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Dora Maar made a decisive contribution to the growth of Pablo Picasso’s political awareness, being the painter’s partner for the entire period of Guernica’s production. Theirs was a stormy relationship, but it was probably the closest and most intimate that the artist ever had with a woman. During the time that it lasted, Dora Maar was Picasso’s main model and the subject of some of his most iconic portraits, likenesses that are as much a reflection of the restlessness of a turbulent period of political upheaval as of the profound personal relationship the couple shared.
Picasso did at least four different types of portrait of Dora Maar. In the one in the Museo Reina Sofía collection, Dora Maar’s head seems slightly turned to one side, with the hair down, staring defiantly at the viewer through large, slightly faraway eyes, that seem to betray her incipient dementia, in a look that lays open the tragic events of this passionate woman’s life. As has been said on occasion, in these portraits Picasso is using Dora’s facial features as if they were a known, familiar landscape, ravaged by war.

Paloma Esteban Leal