This remarkable re-creation of the Women of Algiers, an iconic harem scene by the French Romanticist Eugène Delacroix, is one of fifteen paintings and over a hundred works on paper of this subject that Picasso made in a concentrated burst of activity in late 1954 and early 1955. Although the Spanish artist had long admired Delacroix’s masterpiece, the impetus to paint an odalisque was likely inspired by the death of Matisse that November. Speaking of his longtime friend and artistic rival, Picasso explained, “When Matisse died he left me his odalisques as a legacy, and this is my idea of the Orient, though I have never been there.”
- Artist Name: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
- Title: Women of Algiers, Version "I"
- Date: January 25, 1955
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 38-1/8 x 51-1/8 in. (96.8 x 129.9 cm)
- Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
- Accession Number: M.1986.3.P
- Copyright: © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Frua dei Angeli, Italy.
[Galerie Beyeler, Basel, sold 1973 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation, transferred 1986 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.
- Norton Simon Museum, 2019-02-22 to 2019-06-17
Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: Oeuvres de 1953 à 1955, no. 353, pl. 130
Montua, Gabriel (ed.), Picasso & Femmes d'Alger, I p. 107 ; p.  (ill.), p. 98 (ill.)
Steadman, David, The Connoisseur, p. 230
Steinberg, Leo, Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-century Art, opp. p. 234
Croutier, Alev Lytle, Harem: The World Behind the Veil, p. 204
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 196
Steadman, David W., The Connoisseur, p. 230
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