The Surrealist photographer Dora Maar (Henriette Theodora Markovitch, 1907-1997) was the artist's lover from 1936 to 1943. In contrast to his languid pictures of Marie-Thérèse, Picasso's portraits of Dora are sharp and frenetic. Here, the thirty-one-year-old Dora appears as a giddy spider queen, sitting atop a throne with crossed arms and legs at the center of a weblike world. Her hands are curiously splayed, her breasts are conical shells, and her ears evoke two little bells.
Inscription: Signed and dated in black ink, lower right: 29.4.28· / Picasso
Mary (Meric) Callery, Boulogne sur Seine (by 1939–ca. 1972/73; acquired from the artist; sold ca. 1972/73 to Diamond); [Harold and Hester Diamond, New York, ca. 1972/73–1981; sold on May 21, 1981 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1981–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 205).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 229).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 82.