Dora Maar in an Armchair

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )

Oil on canvas
28 7/8 x 23 3/4 in. (73.3 x 60.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Picasso painted this portrait of his new lover, the Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (Henriette Theodora Markovitch, 1907-1997), during their yearlong sojourn at Royan, a small town on France's southern Atlantic coast. As with many of Picasso's depictions of Dora, she confronts the viewer with wide-eyed and high-strung intelligence. Her sparkling eyes compete with the stars on the garish wallpaper behind her, presumably the same paper that decorated their rooms at the Hôtel du Tigre.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Signed and dated, lower center: 26.10.39 / ¦Picasso¦

    NB: A photo of the back shows that the work is also dated and inscribed: "Royan / 26.10.39" on the back of the canvas. Christel H. Force, January 16, 2009.

    Inscription: Inscribed and dated on verso in black paint, upper right: Royan / 26.10.39

  • Provenance

    [Louis Carré, Paris and New York]; [Pierre Colle, Paris]; probably Sidney Janis, New York, possibly by 1946; [Perls Galleries (Klaus G. Perls), New York, by 1965, stock no. 6581]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York (until 1998; their gift to MMA, 1998)

  • References

    Janis, Harriet and Sidney. Picasso: The Recent Years 1939-1946, New York, 1946, pl. 75, ill.

    Pablo Picasso: Highlights in Retrospect, exh. cat., New York, Perls Galleries, 1965, cat. no. 16, ill., n.p.

    Exposition Picasso, exh. cat., Musée de la Ville de Tokyo, 1977-1978 (traveled also to Nagoya, Fukuoka and Kyoto), foreword by Roland Penrose, essays by Pontus Hultén and Dominique Bozo, cat. no. 49, ill., n.p.

    Rubin, William. Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1980, ill. p. 363

    Picasso im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939 bis 1945, exh. cat., Catalog, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 1988, essays by Baer, Daix, Meyer, Dorleac, Steinberg et al.

    Lieberman, William S. Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar, exh. brochure, 1994, cat. no. 79, ill.

  • See also