Buste de jeune femme (Head of a Young Woman)

Pablo Picasso (Pablo Ruiz Picasso)

Malaga, Spain, 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973

Pablo Picasso’s stay in the Pyrenees town of Gósol in the summer of 1906 was critical for the artistic revolution that witnessed the emergence of Cubism just one year later. Picasso would leave behind his Rose Period to embark upon a new primitive and anti-academic language, an idiom that was purposely incomplete, schematic and with defined counters and solid and monumental forms. Drawing inspiration from masters such as Cézanne and Gauguin, and particularly the Iberian art he had encountered in Paris that same year, this new period would continue in the months immediately following his return to Paris and would culminate Les demoiselles d’Avignon during the summer of 1907.

His then partner and travel companion to Gósol, Fernande Olivier, served as a recurring model in this key period of artistic experimentation: Buste de jeune femme (Head of a Young Woman) the artist painted Fernande from memory with a mask-like, hieratical face with strong eyelids and empty eyes akin to the Iberian statuary of Cerro de los Santos, but with a recognition of her characteristic shoulder-length hair.

Raúl Martínez Arranz