Portraits by Picasso: Images of Friends, Lovers and Mentors

A new exhibition of portraits by Pablo Picasso features examples of portraits of people who significantly influenced Picasso's life and work, beginning with a 1905 bronze bust of Fernande Oliver, the artist's first mistress, and ending with images of Jacqueline Roque, his second wife, from the 1950s and 60s.

Picasso's autobiography can clearly be read by following the chronology of the works on display, which range stylistically from early Cubism, through his classical period, to his late lithographs and linoleum cuts. Although some of the works are not direct portraits, they are generally accepted as being inspired by specific people important in Picasso's life.

Works featured in the exhibition inclue the first and chief example of Picasso's cubist sculpture, Head of Woman  (1909), portraying Fernande Olivier, as well as graphics from the Vollard Suite executed in 1930-37, depicting many images of Marie-Thérèse Walter, his mistress from 1927. The exhibition includes two rare etched portraits of the mysterious and troubled Dora Maar, a Surrealist photographer who became Picasso's companion in 1935; representations of Françoise Gilot, a young painter with whom Picasso had his son Claude in 1947 and daughter Paloma in 1949; and lithographs and linoleum cuts of Jacqueline Roque during the final phase of his career. In addition, on display are two paintings from his classical phase representing the features of his first wife Olga Koklova, the Russian dancer, and his famous portrait of Marie-Thérèse, Woman with Book.