Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)
Dimensions: 16 × 10 1/4 × 10 in. (40.6 × 26 × 25.4 cm)
Weight: 27.5 lb. (12.5 kg)
Credit Line: Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1995
Accession Number: 1996.403.6
Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This is Picasso’s first Cubist sculpture and one of more than sixty Cubist paintings, sculptures, and drawings the artist made of his lover Fernande Olivier in 1909. Picasso modeled the bust in Paris after the couple returned from a summer trip to Spain. As in his early Cubist paintings, the shape of her sculpted head is faceted into smaller units. Intended to be seen in the round, the composition changes form when viewed from different angles. The head’s slight tilt and the neck’s sweeping curves give the impression of movement, as if she is about to look over her shoulder.