GPP16, Picasso and Dora Maar


Incredible timing again for the new GPP16 crusadeJournal your blog. Last year I finally wanted to approach abstract art (not really my cup of tea), but all I did was one still life painting (here) and not even abstract. Then in October I said I need to try this again next year and start doing something artylicious with paint. But I’m so much surrounded by fabric that I’ve been procastinating … Thanks for the push Michelle. So here’s a spread in my GPP crusade journal I did tonight and couldn’t stop until 3.30 am!! Making a self-portrait wearing 2007 as a crown, well deserved I think haha and some of my artwork created last year via blog challenges. I LOVE the altered book I started for the Wednesday Stamper and it’s getting fuller and fuller with fun art. It’s working!! And my Crusade Journal! Inspired by Michelle‘s layouts (check out the Crusade blog) and and ADVERT I saw in a magazine the other day about a Picasso painting going up for auction next month. Told ya, everyday life is my muse … 🙂 Never done this kind of abstract before, dipping my toes in cubism … Thanks Michelle for fun prompts. You ROCK! *** (Dt. Text folgt, bin jetzt zu müde für mehr)


Picasso’s “Garçon à la pipe” (boy with pipe) has so far been the most expensive painting sold at auctions – for 104,100,000$. I admit, I’d love to own it as well, isn’t it gorgeous?! *** Picasso’s “Junge mit Pfeife” ist das bisher teuerste ersteigerte Bild für 104,100,000$. Ich gestehe, ich würde es auch gerne besitzen, ist es nicht wunderschön?!


His painting “Dora Maar avec chat” (Dora Maar with cat) sold only for 95,200,000$ in 2006.*** Sein Gemälde “Dora Maar mit Katze” verkaufte sich 2006 für 95,200,000$.


Here’s another “Tete de femme” *** Noch ein Frauenkopf.


On 5 February 2008 this original painting “Tête de femme (La Lectrice)” (again Dora Maar) will go up at Sotheby’s for auction for an estimated 6,500,000 – 8,500,000 GBP/12,800,000 – 16,700,000$ … so save your pennies!!!! Interested in owning a Klimt drawing, or paintings by Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, Mondrian, Matisse, Magritte, von Jawlensky, Kirchner, Macke, Pechstein, a Giaccometti bronze sculpture and more? Sotheby’s catalogue for this auction can be perused here. *** Am 5. Februar 2008 wird diese Originalgemälde “Frauenkopf (La Lectrice)” (wieder Dora Maar) bei Sotheby’s für geschätzte 6,500,000 – 8,500,000 GBP/8,700.000 – 11,400.000€ versteigert … also Pfennige sparen!!!! Interesse, eine Klimt-Zeichnung drawing oder Gemälte von Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Renoir, Mondrian, Matisse, Magritte, von Jawlensky, Kirchner, Macke, Pechstein, eine Giaccometti Bronzeskulptur oder mehr zu besitzen? Sotheby’s Katalogue für diese Aution kann hier durchstöbert werden.

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Here’s a selection of Picasso’s Dora Maar painting and sketches. *** Hier eine Auswahl von Picasso’s Gemälden und Zeichnungen von Dora Maar.

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Tête de femme (La Lectrice)  belongs to Picasso’s celebrated series of paintings portraying Dora Maar, who was his mistress and artistic companion in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Picasso’s love affair with Maar was a partnership of intellectual exchange as well as of intense passion, and Maar’s influence on the artist resulted in some of the most daring and most renowned portraits of his career. Painted during the years marked by the Spanish Civil War and later the Second World War, Picasso’s portraits of Dora resonated with the drama and emotional upheaval of the era. In 1937 he executed his celebrated series of weeping women (fig. 1), portraying Maar in the most openly dramatic and emotionally charged manner. Whilst in this series he alternated between depictions of Dora and his previous mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, it was the images of Dora Maar that came to symbolise Picasso’s emotional state and the instability of the era.

The story of Dora Maar’s relationship with Picasso is legendary in the history of twentieth century art. Picasso met Maar (1907-1997), the Surrealist photographer, in early 1936, and was immediately enchanted by the young woman’s intellect and beauty and by her commanding presence. Although still involved with Marie-Thérèse Walter and still married to Olga Koklova at the time, Picasso became intimately involved with Maar by the end of the year, having spent the summer with her and a group of fellow Surrealists. Unlike the docile and domestic Marie-Thérèse, Maar was an artist, spoke Picasso’s native Spanish, and shared his intellectual and political concerns. She even assisted with the execution of the monumental Guernica and produced the only photo-documentary of the work in progress.

Throughout the years spent with Dora Maar, Picasso would depict her in a variety of ways: from the menacing, almost monstrous character of the weeping women series, to the much calmer, dignified images such as Dora Maar au chat (fig. 4) and the monumental bronze sculpture Tête de femme (fig. 5). The woman depicted here in the act of reading projects an intellectual quality and quiet introspection, while at the same time her lively eyes and tense features reflect her strong personality. Like Picasso’s most accomplished portraits of Dora Maar, this is a psychologically intense and penetrating image, conveying her physical beauty and radiant personality, as well as a sense of anxiety and uncertainty of the times. Her beautiful features that Picasso greatly admired – her flowing chestnut hair, dark eyes and strong nose – are distorted in a way that powerfully embodies all of the complex and conflicting emotions that marked their relationship, as well as the time they lived in. It was her brilliant intelligence that distinguished Dora from other women in Picasso’s life, and here he depicts her reading a book or a newspaper, deeply immersed in her thoughts. Despite the highly abstracted and stylised manner in which Picasso depicted her features, with the use of a bright palette and energetic brushstrokes he captured the luminosity and vitality of her character.

What first caught Picasso’s attention, however, was Maar’s transfixing beauty, which James Lord described upon meeting Maar in 1944: ‘Her gaze possessed remarkable radiance but could also be very hard. I observed that she was beautiful, with a strong, straight nose, perfect scarlet lips, the chin firm, the jaw a trifle heavy and the more forceful for being so, rich chestnut hair drawn smoothly back, and eyelashes like the furred antennae of moths’ (J. Lord, Picasso and Dora, New York, 1993, p. 31). Her striking features and complex personality captured the imagination of a number of artists and made her the subject of numerous photographs by Man Ray, Lee Miller and Picasso himself (fig. 6). Rather than merely celebrating her physical beauty, however, the present work represents a complex synthesis of various themes that preoccupied Picasso at the time.

Maar’s strong, pronounced features acquire a certain masculine quality, suggesting a degree of the artist’s introspection and self-reflection. Furthermore, Maar shares her stylised features with Picasso’s depictions of bulls, thus evoking one of his favourite themes – the bullfight, that remained throughout his life a symbol of his native Spain, a subject particularly close to his heart at this time of civil war. In combining major images from his iconography, Picasso weaves a rich web of associations that reflect his own and his model’s emotional state, as well as circumstances that surrounded them. It is this complexity of ideas and connotations, combined with a strikingly modern pictorial style, that place Picasso’s portraits of Dora Maar among the most accomplished works of his career.

Brigitte Léal wrote about Picasso’s portrayals of Dora: ‘Their terribilità no doubt explains why the innumerable, very different portraits that Picasso did of [Dora] remain among the finest achievements of his art, at a time when he was engaged in a sort of third path, verging on Surrealist representation while rejecting strict representation and, naturally, abstraction. Today, more than ever, the fascination that the image of this admirable, but suffering and alienated, face exerts on us incontestably ensues from its coinciding with our modern consciousness of the body in its threefold dimension of precariousness, ambiguity, and monstrosity. There is no doubt that by signing these portraits, Picasso tolled the final bell for the reign of ideal beauty and opened that way for the aesthetic tyranny of a sort of terrible and tragic beauty’ (B. Léal, ‘For Charming Dora: Portraits of Dora Maar’, in Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1996-97, p. 385).”

And last but not least … check out this cool Picasso Dora Maar inspired  Citroen 2CV. Found it here. *** Und zuguterletzt schau Dir diesen coolen Picasso Dora Maar inspirierten  Citroen 2CV. Hab ihn hier gefunden.



43 responses to “GPP16, Picasso and Dora Maar

  1. Oh my my my. You cover so much content on this post it’s hard to know where to begin so I’ll just say this: I adore seeing your journal pages. Love your Picasso painting, and the backgrounds!!, and that you incorporated some work from the previous year, and that you worked into the weeeeee hours. Addictive, yes? Thank you Belinda for sharing this me, with your readers, especially the Street Team.

    YOU rock!

  2. Belinda, what a great idea to have a GPP crusade journal – I might just have to borrow that idea!

  3. The pages you made are wonderful! I love it that you cover so much about Picasso and abstract and cubist art. I am coming back here to read more. Are you going to continue posting your paintings? Really nice. It looks like you immersed yourself and time ran away with you. Best way to live.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’m so new to this, but your post has inspired me to get busy. Thanks!

  5. Belinda,
    Have you seen Alexandra Nechita’s artwork!??She is a young alented woman and paints like Picasso “style wise”….I adore her and her story of her life actually! Anyways, thanks for post and hope all is well there with you in the New Year! ❤

  6. Die Ente ist ja klasse, ob der wirklich damit fährt?
    Guter Anfang, bin gespannt, wie’s weitergeht. Stimmt, der Junge mit Pfeife ist traumhaft schön. Schönes WochenendE!

  7. tja..wenn ich ein wenig klein geld übrig hätte…*lol*
    klasse deine seiten,Belinder!

  8. Such an inspirational and informative post Belinda! Lovc your arty journal spread and found all the information on artists very interesting. Jacky and I were both saying the other day that you do so much research for your posts and that we were very impressed by that.
    You are not only an incredible artist but a very interesting and intelligent woman!

  9. Awesome awesome awesome. Love your abstract painting. Something I need to give a try…. hmmm perhaps Grusade No. 16 is my push too 🙂

  10. wow – Belinda – this is so inspiring – way to go!

    xox – eb.

  11. Belinda – wow! I am amazed at your work and your painting and the content! I have to bookmark your blog and come back.

  12. I just love ur ‘Picaso’ painting, it’s really turned out nice !
    You inspired me a lot.
    Really love ur blog.

  13. Wow. You’ve graciously shared so much of yourself here Belinda! I just love that you stretched yourself into abstract art this way! It’s a delight to see. She’s gorgeous!

    I love her nose, and the way her arm stretches across to embrace both pages and your other art throughout 2007. And finally her crown! Oh my I think I want a crown like that.

    Thanks for sharing an inspirational Crusade.

  14. Belinda,
    I love that your journal entry embraces multiple posts from 2007, showing that nothing is disconnected and that a year is more than a linear series of events, but rather the intersection of them.

  15. Thank you for all that background info! I think your interpretation of Picasso in your self portrait is very successful, and it’s beautiful.

  16. Bel, thanks so much for this Picasso review. I love the way you’ve made it yours.

  17. What a visual delight!!! I love the Dora references and ALL the info!!!

    That car! so great……

  18. Awesome!! Goodness there is a lot to digest here. And then you do the German translation?? You crazy woman!!!!!!!!!LOL I am sooooooooooooo digging that Citroen. Can you imagine having Picasso’s painting? I am sure you would never leave the house!!! And you would have to barricade yourself in with some mega security. It is always nice to dream.
    Ha Ha, I spotted the word journal in that post…..come over to the wild side woman!!!

  19. wow, so much to react to… awesome painting and great background info! That car is AWESOME! I want one! Can you imagine (if it works) the looks one would get going down the street? This one crusade took you a lot of places already… and you made me think about some things to visit and try… thanks for such an awesome post with so much meat! (art meat, that is!)

  20. Off Topic: I’m changing the subject to Theda. Check this out:

  21. Herrlich, der knallbunte Citroen weckt Erinnerungen an mein erstes, leider viel farbloseres Auto. Auch ein Citroen, aber eine Diane… so ähnlich wie die “Ente”. Schleich mal auf meinen Blog, ich habe eine Überraschung für Dich 😉

  22. Belinda,
    … experimenting, sharing, creating, learning, inspiring…a post is wonderful, but not easy, when it manages to touch on all of these elements as your post does. Thankyou. jodi barone

  23. Belinda,
    Your journal entry is really cool… I totally understand your sentiments re: abstract art. Thanks to you, I’m feeling somewhat inspired to give it a go myself! The Citroen is really cool… will have to forward the site to my hubby who is a real Citroen fan… thanks for all the great info!

  24. Love the journal pages, more of your fabulous work

  25. hubba hubba This totally rocks! I’m glad I stopped by and discovered more about you. Your paintings are COOL, but this journal spread really ROCKS my world! ~Monica

  26. I’m beside myself with awe. This whole post is just amazing! Your painting is fab, maybe abstract is your new direction? I had to email the Citroen pictures to my spousal unit, he’ll be delighted.

    Thanks for sharing it all!

  27. OH WOW! Belinda! I’m just now getting to this post because I’ve been so busy, and you’ve been about 160 times busier than me in the meantime!
    LOVE your abstract art! And I want some of your energy, too!

  28. Look at you! I have never even thought about doing an abstract painting. Hmmmm…it would be a real challenge for me! Good for you for making yourself think out of the box!!!

  29. Belinda, this is one most excellent post and exquisite collaged piece! I have been trying to leave comments for 2 weeks now and finally I got through! I guess my internet here in Beirut has a thing against wordpress!! I LOVE YOUR ENTRY. Bravo!

  30. Wow – that’s it – wow!

  31. WOW! Big post… and big subject! 😀 LOVE the journaling your blog with the Picasso flair. 🙂 Nice.

  32. hi belinda….. fantastic post… wanted to show you my 14year olds painting of the same theme 🙂

  33. loved the post, very very interesting.

  34. Thanks for such an important articles about Eyelash & Eyebrow. This is a very needed information.
    Because i m very carey about my eyebrow and i want to look better.

  35. I am glad I found this website. What is ironic is I haven’t ever looked Picasso’s Abstracts this way before. I always loved his blue period, now I understand all the faces. They are from the fractured feeling given when your country is in turmoil. *PEACE*

  36. servus belinda!

    woher hast du das bild “noch ein frauenkopf” von picasso?
    kannst du mir einen tip geben?

  37. Pablo Picasso “Portrait of Dora Maar”
    This famous work of exuberant imagery is one of the most under-interpreted in the history of Picasso’s art.
    “Dora’s right cheek is a Biblical apple… Her apple is she herself. She is the apple that offers itself… But what about her right hand? Doesn’t it look like the serpent’s mug? Dora-snake is the very gesture of offering Dora-apple.”
    What is signified by Dora’s ear? Why Picasso has Dora in this constricted room-box instead of in a larger space? What is suggested by the geometry of the chair that is of a very peculiar (near impossible) design? And why is the low part of Dora’s body absent just like that?
    Read the analysis of Picasso’s painting “Dora Maar as Eve, Apple and Serpent (Woman – Sacred Trinity of Victorious Seduction)”, the article about Picasso’s “Massacre in Korea” and assays about the paintings of Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Kazimir Malevich, Giorgio de Chirico, Otto Dix, Max Ernst, and George Grosz at:
    by Victor

  38. You you could make changes to the page title GPP16, Picasso and Dora Maar | to more specific for your content you create. I enjoyed the the writing withal.

  39. great and great

  40. We have an Estate Signed sketch of Dora Maar by Picaso that’s 149/500. I’m trying to find more information about it. It’s not one of the ones pictured here. Can You help?

  41. Ugh sorry out of respect, typo correction Picasso of course.

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