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.


  • London, Rosenberg & Helft, Ltd., 1937-04-01 to 1937-04-30
  • Duthuit, Georges, The Listener, pp. 829-831
  • Carmean, E.; and Rathbone, American Art at Mid Century: The Subjects of the Artist, pp. 159, 161
  • Various (English students), Verso (Journal of Literary Criticism),2012, Cover
  • Répertoire des biens spoliés en France durant la guerre, 1939-1945. List of property removed from France during the war, 1939-1945,no. 7856 p. 347
  • Yard, Sally, Arts Magazine, pp. 97-98
  • Various authors, edited by Mark Rogián, Spanish Art in America,2016, p. 194 ; p. 195 (ill.)
  • Fleckner, Uwe, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres 1780-1867,fig. 6 p. 11
  • Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, p. 359
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 90 p. 255
  • Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: Oeuvres de 1932 a 1937,pl. 70 p. 31
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 198
  • Christie's London, Picasso : Femme écrivant (Marie Thérèse), 1934,2017, p. 34 (ill.)
  • Kahnweiler, Daniel H., Art News, p. 36
  • Ehret, Terry, Translations from the Human Language, Cover
  • Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, pp. 230-231
  • Madeline, Laurence, Picasso 1932,2017, Fig. 39 p. 150
  • Rosenblum, Robert, Ingres,fig. 71 p. 48
  • Lesser, Wendy, Nothing Remains the Same, cover
  • Les maîtres de l'art indépendant 1895-1937,no. 4 p. 106
  • Rosenblum, Robert, Arts Magazine, pp. 100-105, cover
  • Museo del Prado and Museo Reina Sofia, Picasso. Tradición y Vanguardia,2006, fig. 30.2 p. 250
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español
Children's Audio Tour
English | Español
Children's Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
Audioguía Infantil
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía Infantil
English | Español

Additional Artwork by Artist

Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris Pablo Picasso 1930-37
Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris: At the Bath Pablo Picasso October 17, 1930
Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris: Flutist and Three Nudes (Three Nudes and a Satyr Playing the Flute) Pablo Picasso July 21, 1932

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form