Marina Picasso, Paris (the artist's granddaughter; by descent from the above and until at least 1982)
Galerie Thomas, Munich
Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above in the 1980s. Sold: Sotheby's, London, 22nd June 2010, lot 15)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art & Kyoto, Municipal Museum, Picasso: Masterpieces from Marina Picasso Collection and from Museums in U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., 1983, no. 132, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
This contemplative quality is beautifully presented in Femme endormie, showing Marie-Thérèse in her sleep, open to the viewer's gaze. The sensuous lines that form her body and easy abandon of her posture emphasise both this sense of tranquillity and a physical acquiescence that made her such a compelling subject for the artist. Picasso shows her reclining on a bed that resembles a pedestal in its simplicity, elevating the nude to a work of art in her own right in a stylistic move that anticipates his later series of works on the subject of the artist and his model/muse. The painting also reveals Picasso thinking about his art in another way; the framed aperture with its checked curtains or drapes is reminiscent of Matisse’s paintings of women in windows of the previous decade and indicative of the long-term rivalry between these two masters of modern art. In making this allusion, Picasso deftly transforms this work from a seductive depiction of his young lover into a wider statement of artistic intent.
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