Picasso’s Head of a Woman (1960)

Picasso's portraits or anonymous heads are typically full of esoteric content, most of them repeating the same themes. That makes them easier to find. The Metropolitan Museum, not impressed enough to display this formulaic repetition of his late syle, keep it in storage. Nevertheless it does contain unseen gems including.....

Click next thumbnail to continue






 

Captions for image(s) above:

Picasso, Head of a Woman (1960) Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Click image to enlarge.

....Picasso's own profile in the negative space of the background on the left (see comparison). The line, perhaps the dado rail on a wall, substitutes for Picasso's "mouth". The woman's head is darkened in the diagram at left to make the profile more apparent.1

Click next thumbnail to continue

Captions for image(s) above:

L: Photographic detail of Picasso's profile (1960's)
R: Diagram of Picasso's Head of a Woman with the head and background on the right darkened

Click image to enlarge.

The green background on her right resembles a descending phallus which, when seen another way, resembles one of the spread legs of a naked woman, male and female anatomy combined as an expression of his creative fertility. You can find the feminine version on your own.

Here, without going into too much detail, is a further observation. The eyelashes are differentiated to indicate out-sight on the left and insight on the right. How do I know? The eyelashes are straight on the left like the rays of the sun; several are curved on the left to resemble the moon with a lunar-like highlight on her cheek below it.

 

Captions for image(s) above:

Picasso, Head of a Woman (1960)

Click image to enlarge.

Notes:

1. In the diagram above I have darkened an extraneous curve of wall near the very top edge. Picasso possibly added it to confuse because, without it, his hidden profile may have been too obvious.

Original Publication Date on EPPH: 11 Jan 2015. © Simon Abrahams. Articles on this site are the copyright of Simon Abrahams. To use copyrighted material in print or other media for purposes beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Websites may link to this page without permission (please do) but may not reproduce the material on their own site without crediting Simon Abrahams and EPPH.