Modern and Contemporary Art
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973

Femme assise (Seated Woman)

1936

Oil on canvas

73.03 x 59.69 cm (28 3/4 x 23 1/2 in.) framed: 85.73 x 72.39 cm (33 3/4 x 28 1/2 in.)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.52.22

Pablo Picasso painted Femme assise after a one-year hiatus from painting, during which he turned to writing and penned more than one hundred poems. When he resumed painting in April 1936, he created a rapid succession of images inspired by his mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, including this work, which is marked by anatomic confusion and high-keyed color. Green-yellow sunlight burns through the window to the left of the figure, its garish brightness casting a deep purple shadow under her eye and down her cheek. To her right, Picasso inserted his own shadowy profile, overlapping this trace of his self with hers—though his profile faces away from the sun’s punishing glare.

Culture: 
Spanish
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Geography: 
Made in Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, France
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Pablo Picasso, until at least 1961. Charles B. Benenson, to 2006; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 240, ill.

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 246, 400, pl. 234.

Susan Greenberg Fisher et al., Picasso and the Allure of Language, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009), 8–9, 112, 125, 129–35, no. 16, ill.

Cathleen Chaffee, Eye on a Century: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 52–53, 175, no. 15.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.