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
[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;
Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, 1953-1954;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena,1954-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.
- San Francisco Museum of Art, to
Daix, Pierre; and Joan Rosselet, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916, no. 563 pp. 130, 132, 296
Palau i Fabre, Josep, Picasso Cubism (1907-1917), fig. 873 p. 308
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 186
de la Beaumelle, Agnes, La beauté convulsive, pp. 56-57
The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena, no. 427
Barnett, Vivian Endicott, The Blue Four Collection at the Norton Simon Museum, no. 404 pp. 401-403
Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: Oeuvres de 1912 à 1917, no. 380
Breton, André, Le Surréalisme et la Peinture, pl. 4
Bannard, D., Artforum, p. 23
Cahiers d' Art, nos. 7, 8, 9, 10
Cachin, Françoise; and Fiorella Minervino, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Picasso 1907-1916, no. 593
Additional Artwork by Artist
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.