Le peintre (1934)

Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973)

Le peintre (The Painter)
Oil on canvas, 98.4 x 80.3 cm
Wadsworth AtheneumHartford

Curatorial Narrative: Picasso depicts himself standing before his model, Marie Thérèse Walter, object of his passion and persistent subject in his work for nearly a decade after 1927. The intensity of his attraction is evident in the erotically distorted figure of the nude model. The biomorphic shapes that make up the model’s body show Picasso’s interest in the emerging Surrealist movement. They recall the improvisational forms that other artists of the time created while experimenting with automatic drawing techniques.

Collection Catalog Narrative: This painting is one of numerous portraits that Pablo Picasso created of his lover and model Marie-Thérèse Walter. Unlike other portraits of Marie-Thérèse, this work captivates the viewer with its aggressive force and sense of experimentation. The artist, painted in shrieking yellow, contrasts sharply with the nude model, who is depicted with an erotically distorted figure in pink and green. Painted with her head thrown back and sexual attributes exposed, she is reminiscent of a transformed sea creature or an exotic plant. Marie-Thérèse was seventeen when she became Picasso’s muse and lover in 1927. She met the middle-aged artist on the streets of Paris, and he became immediately captivated by the blonde beauty. Picasso kept their affair a secret from his family until 1935, when she became pregnant. Their relationship disentangled shortly after she gave birth to their daughter, Maya. (WA)

See also:

Walter, Marie-Thérèse (1909-1977)