Woman with a Book
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
On View

Among Picasso’s most celebrated likenesses of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, Woman with a Book balances sensuality and restraint, enclosing exuberant, thickly applied color in a network of sinuous black lines. The composition pays homage to the Neoclassical master of line, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whose work Picasso had admired since his youth, and whose Portrait of Madame Moitessier the Spanish painter had first encountered in 1921. Resting his model’s head on her hand, and replacing Madame Moitessier’s fan with the fluttering pages of a book, Picasso tapped into the eroticism latent beneath Ingres’s image of bourgeois respectability. The serene profile reflected in a mirror at right in Picasso’s portrait likewise references its Neoclassical precedent but may also constitute an abstract self-portrait.


  • Artist Name: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
  • Title: Woman with a Book
  • Date: 1932
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 51-3/8 x 38-1/2 in. (130.5 x 97.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1969.38.10.P
  • Copyright: © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

The artist, sold to;
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, confiscated during WWII; claim for monetary compensation received from French government.]
Antoine Rinieri, Paris, sold 4 August 1960 to;
[Paul Rosenberg and Co., New York, stock no. 5832, sold 13 December 1960 to];
Robert Ellis Simon, Los Angeles, to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

"Bonne fête" Monsieur Picasso, from Southern California Collectors

  • Los Angeles, University of California, Los Angeles, Art Gallery, 1961-10-05 to 1961-11-12


  • London, Rosenberg & Helft, Ltd., 1937-04-01 to 1937-04-30

Picasso Ingres: Face to Face_01

  • The National Gallery, London, 2022-06-03 to 2022-10-09

Exposition d'oeuvres choisies de Pablo Picasso

  • Paris, Paul Rosenberg, 1936-03-03 to 1936-03-31

Picasso Ingres: Face to Face_02

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2022-10-21 to 2023-01-30

Les maîtres de l'art indépendant 1895-1937

  • Paris, Petit Palais, 1937-06 to 1937-10

Gaze: Portraiture After Ingres

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2009-10-30 to 2010-04-05

Seven Decades of Picasso

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1979-10-11 to 1980

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • Rosenblum, Robert, Ingres, fig. 71 p. 48
  • Rosenblum, Robert, Arts Magazine, pp. 100-105, cover
  • Kahnweiler, Daniel H., Art News, p. 36
  • Yard, Sally, Arts Magazine, pp. 97-98
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, pp. 230-231
  • Duthuit, Georges, The Listener, 1936, pp. 829-831
  • Les maîtres de l'art indépendant 1895-1937, 1937, no. 4 p. 106
  • Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre, 1939-1945. List of property removed from France during the war, 1939-1945, 1947, no. 7856 p. 347
  • Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: Oeuvres de 1932 a 1937, 1957, pl. 70 p. 31
  • Carmean, E.; and Rathbone, American Art at Mid Century: The Subjects of the Artist, 1978, pp. 159, 161
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 198
  • Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, 1996, p. 359
  • Fleckner, Uwe, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres 1780-1867, 2000, fig. 6 p. 11
  • Ehret, Terry, Translations from the Human Language, 2001, Cover
  • Lesser, Wendy, Nothing Remains the Same, 2002, cover
  • Museo del Prado and Museo Reina Sofia, Picasso. Tradición y Vanguardia, 2006, fig. 30.2 p. 250
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 90 p. 255
  • Various (English students), Verso (Journal of Literary Criticism), 2012, Cover
  • Various authors, edited by Mark Rogián, Spanish Art in America, 2016, p. 194 ; p. 195 (ill.)
  • Christie's London, Picasso : Femme écrivant (Marie Thérèse), 1934, 2017, p. 34 (ill.)
  • Madeline, Laurence, Picasso 1932, 2017, Fig. 39 p. 150
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Additional Artwork by Artist

La Table, Plate II in "Saint Matorel" by Max Jacob Pablo Picasso 1910 (published 1911)
Long-Haired Young Girl Pablo Picasso November 6, 1945
Long-Haired Young Girl Pablo Picasso November 7, 1945

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