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Painting of Picasso muse heads for auction

By Lin Qi | | Updated: 2017-04-10 09:24
Painting of Picasso muse heads for auction

Seated Woman, Blue Dress by Pablo Picasso. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Although a photographer and painter by her own right, Dora Maar (1907-97) is better known as a lover and muse of Pablo Picasso.

She was the inspiration behind many of Picasso's female portraits, including this Seated Woman, Blue Dress which was painted on Oct 25, 1939, Picasso's 58th birthday.

The painting will be auctioned on May 15 by Christie's at its New York sale of impressionism and modern art. The pre-sale estimated price exceeds $35 million.

In many portraits modeled after Dora Maar, the woman often wears a hat to indicate Maar's personal fashion style. Seated Woman, Blue Dress shows the model in a purple hat ornamented with a green feather or leaf. The hat enlivens the painting by bringing a balance to the model's deformed and fragile face.

Critics believe that the work not only reflects Maar's complex personality — she was a creative artist and figure in the surrealistic circles before she met Picasso — but also reveals Picasso's worries about the tense situation in Europe caused by the Spanish civil war and World War II.


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