- Pablo Picasso
- Tête de femme
- Painted and cut-out sheet iron
- Height: 15 1/8 in.
- 38.5 cm
Estate of the artist
Marina Picasso (by descent from the above in 1973)
Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva (acquired from the above circa 2004)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Paris, Petit Palais, Picasso, 1966
Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz & Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Ausstellung Picasso Plastiken, 1983-84, no. 616.2, illustrated in the catalogue
Geneva, Galerie Jan Krugier, Ditescheim & Cie. & New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, Pablo Picasso Metamorphoses, Oeuvres 1898 à 1973, de la collection Marina Picasso, 2001-02, no. 100, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Bern, Kunstmuseum, Picasso und die Schweiz, 2001-02, no. 162, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Vienna, Albertina Museum, Goya bis Picasso, Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 2004-05, no. 162, illustrated p. 371
Roland Penrose, The Sculpture of Picasso, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1967, no. 169, illustrated p. 191
Werner Spies, Picasso - Das Plastische Werk, Berlin & Düsseldorf, 1983-84, no. 616.2a, illustrated p. 368
Werner Spies, Picasso, The Sculptures, Stuttgart, 2002, no. 616.2a, illustrated p. 389
Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Sixties I, 1960-1963, San Francisco, 2002, no. 61-318, illustrated p. 206
The medium of sculpture allowed Picasso greater freedom in manipulating his images. For the present work, Picasso applies one of his signature line drawings of Jacqueline's facial features to a three-dimensional image by rendering it on a piece of cut and folded sheet metal. Since his collaboration with the sculptor Julio Gonzalez in the early 1930s, Picasso had gained a level of comfortability with soldering and manipulating various metals. When he created the present work in 1961, his limits with this medium knew no boundaries, and what he could not do himself he often entrusted to skilled metal workers to carry out the more technical details. Picasso himself said: "I would like to paint the object in such a way that an engineer could execute them after my paintings." The present work bears the marks of Picasso's unmistakable brushwork, which render the recognizable features of Jacqueline.
Picasso's rendering of the head for the present work marks the evolution of his folded sheet-metal sculptures since he first developed the technique in 1954, with a series of Sylvette heads. Werner Spies describes Picasso's process for that particular series, and his description applies readily to the present work: "The sheet metal used in these pieces is thin and the cutout forms are folded. The surface of the metal remains smooth and is not, as in the works of the second phase, supplemented with soldered-on, relief-like metal strips. In the second phase, painting sometimes yields to this relief-like application of metal, used as a graphic means. A series of sketches shows how Picasso developed these works: here, the fields of vision that open themselves up to successive perception are first of all projected onto a plane. The possibilities for viewing are exactly predetermined. [The head] first presents itself in an overall view, the projecting and receding folds lending the form a slight sense of movement. Yet since painting itself, above all in the central areas, produces spatial effects, the sculptural situation is obscured. The folded sheet-metal form begins to exert a sculptural effect when we divide it up into planes of action and take each of the form surfaces as a separate visual point of departure" (Werner Spies, op. cit., p. 291).