Head of a Woman

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

Date: 1960

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 25 5/8 x 21 1/4 in. (65.1 x 54 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard S. Field, 1990

Accession Number: 1990.192

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Portraits of his beloveds-friends, wives, mistresses, and children-occupied Picasso throughout his life. The dark-haired, dark-eyed features of Jacqueline Roque (1927-1986), his muse for the last nineteen years of his life, fill the entire space of this fairly small canvas. Boldly dividing both figure and background into large irregular, curvilinear shapes that fit together like puzzle pieces, he renders the details of her head with repetitive sweeping brushstrokes that suggest her long luxurious hair, and short spiky dashes to indicate full eyebrows and long lashes. As in many of his heads, Picasso here presents both full and profile views in a much more simplified and flattened version of his early Cubist attempts to present simultaneous viewpoints.