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

Painted in early 1913, this composition exemplifies the style known as Synthetic Cubism. At left, a fragment of green faux-marble paneling evokes the interior of a Parisian cafe, while a series of circles, lines, and curves arranged along the central vertical axis suggests facial features, a guitar, and a hand grasping the instrument’s neck. Picasso’s previous work in papier collé (a form of collage) here inflects his practice as a painter, layering a trompe l’oeil element (the highly realistic faux-marble slab) over an emphatically abstract line drawing. As in many Cubist portraits, the gender of the sitter, and even the type of instrument, portrayed here have been subject to interpretation. Titled “Femme avec une guitare” (Woman with a Guitar) in the inventory of Daniel Kahnweiler, the artist’s principal dealer in the 1910s, the picture was variously described by subsequent owners and critics as “Personnage tenant une mandoline” (Person Holding a Mandolin) and “Joueur de mandoline” (Male Mandolin Player).


  • Artist Name: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
  • Title: Woman with a Guitar
  • Date: 1913
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 39-5/8 x 32-1/8 in. (100 x 81.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
  • Accession Number: P.1953.073
  • Copyright: © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

The artist, to;
[Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler, Paris, probably sold to];
Wilhelm Uhde, Paris ( his sale Hotel Drouot, Paris, 30 May 1921, lot 49, probably sold to);
Christian Tetzen-Lund, Copenhagen, sold to;
[Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris];
André Breton, Paris; Marie Cuttoli, Paris, probably by 1928, sold 1939 to;
Galka Scheyer;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

  • San Francisco Museum of Art, to

Pablo Picasso: October 25, 1881-April 8, 1973

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-04-20 to 1973-06-03

A View of the Century

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1964-11-24 to 1964-12-19

One Hundred Years of French Painting, 1860-1960

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1961 to 1961
  • Oakland Museum, 1961 to 1961

Pablo Picasso

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1960 to 1960

  • University of California, Riverside, to

The Artist Speaks

  • Los Angeles, Los Angeles Municipal Art Commission, 1958-03 to 1958-03

Paintings and Graphic Works by Picasso

  • La Jolla, La Jolla Art Center, 1957-08 to 1957-08

  • University of California, Riverside, to

Picasso: Paintings, Drawings

  • San Antonio, Marion Koogler McKay Art Institute, 1954-10 to 1954-10

From Cezanne to Picasso

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1941 to 1941

French Paintings

  • San Diego, San Diego Fine Arts Gallery, 1941 to 1941

"Bonne fête" Monsieur Picasso, from Southern California Collectors

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

The Cubist Epoch

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1970-12-15 to 1971-02-21
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971-04-07 to 1971-06-07

Picassos in Southern California: A Tribute to the Artist at 90

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1971-10-25 to 1971-11-21

Seven Decades of Picasso

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1984 to 1986

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

Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2017-04-07 to 2017-09-25

From Europe to California: Galka Scheyer and the Avant-Garde

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2003-05-16 to 2003-10-13

Permanent and Loan Collection, 1973

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-01-30 to 1973-12-31

The Spirit of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in the New World

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1994-11-17 to 1996-01-14
  • Cahiers d' Art, nos. 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Breton, André, Le Surréalisme et la Peinture, 1928, pl. 4
  • Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: Oeuvres de 1912 à 1917, 1942, no. 380
  • Cooper, Douglas, Cubism and the Cubist Epoch, 1970, pl. 213 pp. 191, 192
  • Cachin, Françoise; and Fiorella Minervino, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Picasso 1907-1916, 1972, no. 593
  • The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, 1976, no. 427
  • Daix, Pierre; and Joan Rosselet, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916, 1979, no. 563 pp. 130, 132, 296
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 186
  • Palau i Fabre, Josep, Picasso Cubism (1907-1917), 1990, fig. 873 p. 308
  • de la Beaumelle, Agnes, La beauté convulsive, 1991, pp. 56-57
  • Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum, 2002, no. 404 pp. 401-403
  • Bannard, D., Artforum, 2004, p. 23
  • Gilbert Holzgang, Galka Scheyer : Ein Leben für Kunst und Kreativität, 2023, p. 271 (ill.)
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

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

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