Maya Widmaier Picasso has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Paul Rosenberg, Paris and New York (acquired from the artist)
G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh
Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago
Acquired by the family of the present owner in the 1970s
Upon the outbreak of World War II, Pablo Picasso moved to Royan, seventy-five miles north of Bordeaux, on the Atlantic coast of France. There he completed many portraits of his model and lover, Dora Maar, a Surrealist photographer who he met in 1935. Picasso was infatuated with Maar’s beauty and intellectual fortitude. His fiery relationship with this young woman led Picasso to create some of the most powerful portraitsof his career. In Nu assis sur bleu, he magnificently abstracts Maar’s image, revealing the complexity of his relationship with her and the emotions that she inspired in him.
Picasso gave the present work to his long-time dealer, Paul Rosenberg, who moved his gallery from Paris to New York the year after this picture was painted. Thanks to the research of Elaine Rosenberg, the dealer's daughter-in-law, we know that Picasso had written "pour Paul Rosenberg" in the upper-left corner of the composition, near the signature. Paul Rosenberg later asked a conservator to remove the dedication.
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