The Weeping Woman
The Weeping Woman in the Tate collection
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||60 cm × 49 cm (23 ⅝ in × 19 ¼ in)|
|Location||Tate Modern, London|
The Weeping Woman, (60 х 49 cm, 23 ⅝ х 19 ¼ inches) is an oil on canvas painted by Pablo Picasso in France in 1937. Picasso was intrigued with the subject, and revisited the theme numerous times that year. This painting was the final and most elaborate of the series. It has been in the collection of the Tate in London since 1987, and is on exhibition at the Tate Modern, London.
Echoes of Guernica
The Weeping Woman series is regarded as a thematic continuation of the tragedy depicted in Picasso's epic painting Guernica. In focusing on the image of a woman crying, the artist was no longer painting the effects of the Spanish Civil War directly, but rather referring to a singular universal image of suffering.
The model for the painting, indeed for the entire series, was Dora Maar, who was working as a professional photographer when Picasso met her in 1936; she was the only photographer allowed to document the successive stages of Guernica while Picasso painted it in 1937.
Dora Maar was Picasso's mistress from 1936 until 1944. In the course of their relationship, Picasso painted her in a number of guises, some realistic, some benign, others tortured or threatening. Picasso explained:
"For me she's the weeping woman. For years I've painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one."
"Dora, for me, was always a weeping woman....And it's important, because women are suffering machines."
The Weeping Woman in the Tate Gallery was the last of a series of paintings by Picasso depicting this subject. One of the earlier versions was stolen from the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia in August 1986, and discovered in a railway station locker in Melbourne later the same month. The thief's demands included an increase to arts funding.
- Léal, Brigitte: "Portraits of Dora Maar", Picasso and Portraiture, page 396. Harry N. Abrams, 1996.
- Léal, page 396, 1996.
- Léal, page 406,1996.
- Léal, page 395, 1996.
- Malraux, André: Picasso's Mask, page 138. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976.
- http://www.abc.net.au/tv/rewind/txt/s1199862.htm http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-3781362.html