Discussing Picasso’s depictions of Gilot, Michael C. Fitzgerald wrote: "Picasso’s portraits of Françoise also were not drawn from life; yet the dialogue between artist and subject influenced their form. Françoise was not interested in truly naturalistic images, and, unlike in the cases of Picasso’s other wives and mistresses, there are almost none that reproduce her features strictly.… These pictures are primarily focused on formal and painterly issues of concern to both artists; they engage the question of portraiture only indirectly" (M. C. Fitzgerald, "A Triangle of Ambitions: Art, Politics, and Family during the Postwar Years with Françoise Gilot" in Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, London, 1996, p. 416).
Created after the birth of their two children, Claude and Paloma, the present work belongs to the later years of their relationship when Picasso devoted most of his energy to his art and political engagements and Françoise was preoccupied with the children and her own art. "During these last years, Picasso’s portraits present a characterization of Françoise radically different from the one that had introduced her in his art. Instead of being associated with Marie-Thérèse’s voluptuous form or Olga’s rigid mentality, Françoise… now took on features that Picasso had previously used to depict her predecessor, Dora.… Françoise’s large eyes, long nose, and full mouth are heavily outlined and shaded; even though she is dry-eyed, the rendering evokes the incision-like tracts of the Weeping Woman’s tears" (ibid., pp. 433-34).
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