① Weeping Woman Analysis

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Weeping Woman Analysis



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the Weeping Woman

The Weeping Woman was created at the end of a series of paintings that Picasso produced in response to the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War and is closely associated with the iconography in his painting Guernica. Picasso was intrigued with the subject of the weeping woman, and revisited the theme numerous times that year. It has been housed in the collection of the Tate Modern in London since It was part of a series of works in response to the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War on 26 April The bombing took place when Adolf Hitler ordered the German airforce to bomb the Basque town on behalf of Franco.

While he was working on the commission, the bombing of Guernica occurred. Picasso was so shocked by the massacre that he stated in the Springfield Republican on 18 July , "In the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica, and in all my recent works of art, I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death".

The Weeping Woman series has been described as a postscript to Guernica. Picasso's protest against the Franco regime began with his creation of two etchings in January , titled The Dream and Lie of Franco. The work was accompanied by a prose poem, written by Picasso on 8 and 9 January , which features imagery of women weeping and was a precursor to his visual representation of the weeping woman as a symbol for the suffering of Spain under Franco.

During the creation of Guernica , Picasso made his first studies of a weeping woman on 24 May , however, it was not to be included in the composition of Guernica. An image of the weeping woman was inserted in the lower right of the painting, but this was removed by Picasso, who considered that it would upstage the agonised expressions of the four women in the painting. Picasso's aim in producing Guernica was to portray the immediate shock and horror of the destruction, rather than the tears of mourning that would arise in the aftermath.

Following the completion of Guernica , Picasso continued with his obsession for the weeping woman. Judi Freeman remarked that, "The one motif he could not relinquish was that of the weeping woman. Her visage haunted him. He drew her frequently, almost obsessively, for the next several months. She was the metaphor for his private agonies". Between 8 June and 6 July , Picasso produced a dozen drawings and four oil paintings depicting the weeping woman.

After returning from a summer holiday in Mougins , he completed The Weeping Woman on 26 October Picasso met Dora Maar in the winter of Maar pursued a career as a photographer and became involved in the Surrealist movement. She was Picasso's mistress until their breakup in It was Maar who documented Picasso's painting of Guernica by taking photographs of its development. She was responsible for arranging the use of the studio on 7 rue des Grands Augustins, where Picasso created Guernica and also contributed to its development.

Picasso first drew her portrait on 11 September She became his main model between the autumn of and spring of Picasso portrayed her as a tranquil figure until his creation of the weeping women paintings, which displayed a noticeable change in his approach to her. Despite their shared interests, Picasso's relationship with Maar was abusive, with Maar being the victim of physical violence, which eventually contributed to her breakdown.

Picasso portrayed Maar in numerous portraits during their time together, often depicting her in tears, a motif that would lead to her being primarily known as his "weeping woman", rather than as an artist in her own right. They're Picassos. Not one is Dora Maar". Dora has been described as "Picasso's emblematic victim". 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". Picasso's obsession with her had intensified [at that time], but to judge by the artist's portrayals of her, it precluded tenderness. Picasso explained that, "Dora m'a toujours fait peur" and portrayed her in this manner on numerous occasions from Maar later admitted that Picasso probably drew his inspiration from her sadness.

The Weeping Woman is an abstract portrait of a grief-stricken woman. It is an oil painting on canvas measuring 61 x 50 cm and is signed 'Picasso 37' near the centre on the right edge. It is one of a series of artworks based on the theme of a woman weeping, which Picasso created while producing Guernica. The composition of this painting is highly stylised. Picasso used bright colours and bold lines to convey the figure in a complex series of angular shapes and planes. Despite its abstract nature, the model for this portrait can be identified as Dora Maar, Picasso's lover. Roland Penrose commented on the use of colour in the painting in his biography of Picasso: "The result of using colour in a manner so totally unassociated with grief, for a face in which sorrow is evident in every line, is highly disconcerting.

As though the tragedy had arrived without warning. The face of the weeping woman can be traced directly to the tortured figures depicted in Guernica. In particular, the weeping woman continues the theme of mourning that can be seen in the image of the screaming woman holding a dead baby in Guernica. Picasso created various versions of the woman's face throughout his series of paintings, with the woman depicted in endless tears and sometimes twisted beyond recognition. The Weeping Woman has been described as the most complex, most fragmented and most highly coloured of all the weeping women artworks.

In addition to the confused mass of hands, mouth, teeth, handkerchief and tears in the centre of the painting, Picasso also depicted the eyes with great analytical attention. The Tate draws particular attention to the childlike but striking rendition of the eyes, which have been depicted like boats or overflowing saucers and have been placed on the peaks of the handkerchief to provide an intense exploration of physical and emotional distress. This element was expressed in earlier works that Picasso produced in the same year, which was most intense between 12 and 18 October The earlier paintings also featured the symbol of the handkerchief within the composition. The architecture of the weeping woman's face is very distinctive and shares many design elements with the four female figures depicted in Guernica.

The face is portrayed from mixed viewpoints, with the nose in profile, the mouth shown in three-quarters view and the eyes viewed from the front. This treatment of the face is echoed in the faces of the Guernica women. However, The Weeping Woman is distinct from these figures in the way that Picasso used cubist forms of fragmentation to depict the face in a series of angular planes, rather than the flat, curvilinear images in Guernica.

The image of Picasso's weeping woman has been interpreted in a variety of ways. Artist: Pablo Picasso Subject: Dora Maar , the Surrealist photographer who was Picasso's lover from the mids until the end of the second world war. Distinguishing features: This is a study of how much pain can be communicated by a human face. It has the features of a specific person, Dora Maar, whom Picasso described as "always weeping". She was in fact his close collaborator in the time of his life when he was most involved with politics. Let your eyes wander over the sharp surface and you are led by the jagged black lines to the picture's centre, her mouth and chin, where the flesh seems to have been peeled away by corrosive tears to reveal hard white bone.

The handkerchief she stuffs in her mouth is like a shard of glass. Her eyes are black apertures. When you are inside this picture you are inside pain; it hits you like a punch in the stomach. Picasso's insistence that we imagine ourselves into the excoriated face of this woman, into her dark eyes, was part of his response to seeing newspaper photographs of the Luftwaffe's bombing of Guernica on behalf of Franco in the Spanish civil war on April 26, This painting came at the end of the series of paintings, prints and drawings that Picasso made in protest. It has very personal, Spanish sources. In May Picasso's mother wrote to him from Barcelona that smoke from the burning city during the fighting made her eyes water.

The Mater Dolorosa, the weeping Virgin, is a traditional image in Spanish art, often represented in lurid baroque sculptures with glass tears, like the very solid one that flows towards this woman's right ear. Picasso's father, an artist, made one for the family home. This painting takes such associations and chews them to pulp. It is about the violence that we feel when we look at it, about translating the rawest human emotion into paint. Its origins lie in the tortured figures of Picasso's Guernica , whose suffering is calculated to convey you beyond the photographs of the bombing to sense momentarily what it was to be there.

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