Bust of a Woman

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Oil with fixed black chalk on canvas 
39-1/4 x 32 in. (99.7 x 81.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Not on View

In the years following the First World War—a time of bewildering flux throughout Europe—Picasso participated in a broader cultural phenomenon known as the rappel à l’ordre (call to order). Like many other radical artists of the previous decade, he now turned to classical tradition in search of a stable aesthetic vocabulary; the result was a body of work emphasizing tone over color, and featuring figures that seemed carved from light and shadow. This picture—not really a painting at all, but a monumental drawing in black chalk on prepared canvas—affords a prime example. Blending, stumping, and erasing his dry medium, Picasso conjured the pensive, statuesque figure from a penumbra of chalk.


Pablo Picasso, Cannes, until November 1966.
[Galerie Beyeler, Basel, sold 24 February 1967 to];
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York; stock no. 6240, sold 17 April/7 September 1967 to];
Hunt Foods and Industries, gift 1970 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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