Wildenstein & Co., London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1980
Chemnitz, Kunstsammlung Chemnitz, Picasso et les femmes, 2002-03, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Edward Quinn & Pierre Daix, Picasso avec Picasso, Stuttgart, 1987, illustrated p. 242
Carsten-Peter Warncke & Ingo F. Walther, Pablo Picasso, Cologne, 1991, vol. II, illustrated in colour p. 514 (titled Jacqueline accroupie)
From June to October 1954 Picasso painted Jacqueline in the same pose on several canvases (figs. 1 & 2), crouched with her hands clasped around her knees, some highly abstracted and brightly coloured, others more naturalistic and sombre. This pose showed of her strong profile, especially her large, heavy lidded eyes, which emphasised her exotic features. As the year drew to a close, Picasso took up his brushes again to explore a subject that had long fascinated him – Delacroix’s Les femmes d’Algers. Inspired by the recent death of his friend and rival Henri Matisse, Picasso’s works from this period were also a direct response to Matisse’s famous Odalisques. Moreover, it was Jacqueline’s striking resemblance to Delacroix’s dark haired women of Algiers that compelled him to explore the subject in no less than fifteen direct interpretations and numerous other permutations. In Femme accroupie, the brilliant colour schemes and bold compositional arrangements that Picasso went on to develop in his portraits of Jacqueline over the following year are already fully evident.
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