Woman with Mandolin

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
Oil on canvas 
51-3/8 x 38-1/2 in. (130.5 x 97.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase 
Accession Number:
© 2012 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 
On View

Picasso created this deceptively simple picture using a technique, called sgraffito, generally associated with ceramics, not oil painting. After applying two or more layers of contrasting color (blue over white, pale pink over brown), the artist scraped off the top layer or layers of paint to create an incised line drawing in the color underneath: the white frets of a brown guitar, the dark and light contours of bare breasts, and so on. The effect thus produced is curiously naive, rather like a child’s drawing. The picture dates to 1925, the beginning of Picasso’s engagement with the Surrealist movement, whose members prized children’s drawings and pocket-knife graffiti


The artist, gift? to;
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, by 1926];
[Marguerite and Paul Rosenberg, New York, private collection stock no. 5144, sold January 1964 to];
Walter Annenberg, Palm Springs (sale, New York, Christie’s, 13 November 1984, lot 143, ill., as Femme a la mandoline [La musicienne], to);
Norton Simon Museum.

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