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Art & Design

Pablo Picasso, Seated Woman with a Book, ca. 1910, Museum Works of Art Fund

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Pablo Picasso

gallery location RA303.SouthGallery

Seated Woman with a Book

Pablo Picasso Spanish, 1881-1973
Seated Woman with a Book, ca. 1910
Oil on canvas
41.3 x 24.1 cm (16 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches)
Museum Works of Art Fund 51.094

Picasso may have painted this small undated picture in the summer of 1910 when he visited the town of Cadaqués on the coast of Spanish Catalonia. As his Cubist strategies evolved, he replaced closed forms with more fluid structures. In Seated Woman with a Book, he shifts passages of tonal modeling through armatures of angled lines. He integrated the figure into space but preserved multiple viewpoints, thus transforming her into a rhythmic scaffold. Ambiguous hieroglyphics suggest her breasts, crossed legs, the book in her lap, and the chair upon which she sits. At left, the shift of palette from gray-brown to a soft blue suggests that the figure is seated before a window open to the sea beyond.

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