- Pablo Picasso
- Bague de forme ovale. Portrait de Dora Maar
- ink and coloured pencil on paper in a yellow-metal composite ring
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
The result was a small series of pieces of jewellery, usually found objects which Picasso then adapted either through inclusion of a drawing or in some cases incising an image into the metal. Of these works, the present Portrait de Dora Maar is among the most attractive, with the intricacy of the enamel surround providing a striking counterpoint to the artist’s portrait of his lover. The ring seems a particularly fitting symbol of their love; the legendary story of one of their first encounters, when Picasso came across Dora Maar seated at a table in Les Deux Magots driving a small knife into the wooden table between the fingers of her gloved hands, sometimes drawing blood. Entranced by this dangerous game, Picasso introduced himself and at the end of the evening took the gloves as a memento. Maar’s hands then had always been a particularly charged motif in their tempestuous and impassioned relationship and from the story of the ring’s inception it is clear that they remained so.
Portrait de Dora Maar remained in Dora Maar’s personal collection until her death in 1997 and was purchased at the sale of her estate by the present owner.
This work has been requested for the exhibition L'Art vous va si bien: Bijoux d'artistes at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris from March to July 2018.