PARIS - “Rue Ravignan?... We will all go back to rue Ravignan! In fact, we were never so happy as there,” Pablo Picasso once declared to his friend André Salmon. Painted at the beginning of 1909, Femme assise (Femme au châle), which will feature in the Impressionist and Modern Art sale in Paris, is emblematic of the last works painted by Picasso in his Bateau-Lavoir studio on Rue Ravignan to which moved in 1905. It is here that he met Fernande Olivier, his companion and model, and who it is likely was the sitter for this work.


The year 1909 was a year of important transition for Picasso. His works from this period are a continuation of his legendary 1907 paintings, marked by the revolution of the Demoiselles d’Avignon. This famous painting was, moreover, still hanging in the Bateau-Lavoir studio when Picasso painted Femme assise (Femme au châle).

If the influence of Demoiselles d’Avignon is perceptible, with its mask-like faces inspired by the African masks that Picasso owned, a clear development has already taken place. The new artistic complicity between Braque and Picasso is evident. Braque had already assimilated Cézanne’s teachings and Picasso in turn adopted Braque’s Cézannian style. This development is particularly noticeable in the chromatics of the painting, where the colours are reduced to a palette of greys, greens and browns.

Picasso finally left the Bateau-Lavoir studio a short while after painting this work, and travelled to Barcelona for several months. On his return, he moved to a new studio on Boulevard de Clichy. Femme assise (Femme au châle) is one of the last testimonies to a legendary period that saw the birth of so many masterpieces by Picasso and so many artistic revolutions.