delicate and linear drypoint etching Portrait
of Dora Marr (state III) was created August
The Montval paper has the watermark of Picasso and was printed by Roger
Lacouriere in 1942. It is one of only 50 printed.
Lacouriere was Picasso's master printer who was responsible for
the 100-image Vollard Suite of etchings in 1939 and providing
printmaking instruction to Picasso, before the artist
took the media to new directions with advanced techniques and
54-year old Picasso met Yugoslavian Dora
Maar (1907-1997), the photographer who documented Picasso's
painting of Guernica, the 1937 painting of
Picasso's depiction of the German's having bombed the Basque city of
Guernica, Spain on April 26 during the Spanish
Civil War. She became
Picasso's constant companion and lover from 1936 through April,
In 1937 Germany Jews are banned from many professional occupations
including teaching Germans and from being accountants or
The famous mural Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish Pavilion of the
International Exposition in Paris which opened July 12.
Also in 1937 Picasso completed the 100 etchings of the Vollard Suite
with the addition of three portraits of Vollard himself.
Picasso's Les demoiselles d'Avignon,
the major Cubist painting from 1907 was sold for $28,000 to the Museum
of Modern Art in December, 1937.
Maar went back to painting and exhibited in Paris soon after Picasso
left her for Françoise Gilot. Picasso referred to Dora as
his "private muse". In later years she became a recluse, dying
poor and alone, but with a stash of Picassos in her cluttered
apartment. In 1998 31 of her Picassos were sold for $30
million at auction.
Picasso created one additional etching of Dora Maar similar to this in
October, 1937 (in an edition of 65), quite a contrast to the anguish
displayed in his famous Guernica painting of the same year.
The national Picasso museum in Paris is exhibiting photographs that
Maar took of Picasso and his work through May, 2006.
Sotheby's auction house was scheduled to sell a large painting of Dora
Maar the evening of May 3, 2006 for an estimated $50 million. The
following is from the Sotheby's preview:
The story of Dora Maar’s relationship with Picasso is legendary in
the history of 20th century art. Picasso met Maar, the
Surrealist photographer, in the fall of 1935 and was enchanted by the
young woman’s powerful sense of self and commanding presence. Although
still involved with Marie-Thérèse Walter and still
married to Olga Khokhlova at the time, Picasso became intimately
involved with Maar by the end of the year, and by 1937 she had ascended
to the status of the artist's primary mistress. Unlike
the docile and domestic Marie-Thérèse who had given birth
to their daughter Maya in 1935, Maar was an artist, spoke Picasso’s
native Spanish, and shared his intellectual and political
concerns. She even assisted with the execution of the monumental Guernica
and produced the only photo-documentary of the work in
progress. A nd as she was one of the most influential figures in his
life during this time, she also became his primary model. Looking
back on the pictures that he painted of her, Picasso once admitted that
Dora Maar had become for him the personification of the war. Her
image, which he reinterpreted countless times between 1937 and 1944,
embodied all of the complicated and conflicting emotions of life in the
midst of occupied Paris. But what first caught Picasso's
attention was Maar's transfixing beauty ... which James Lord described
upon meeting Maar in 1944: "Her gaze possessed remarkable radiance but
could also be very hard. I observed that she was beautiful, with a
strong, straight nose, perfect scarlet lips, the chin firm, the jaw a
trifle heavy and the more forceful for being so, rich chestnut hair
drawn smoothly back, and eyelashes like the furred antennae of moths"
(James Lord, Picasso and Dora, New York, 1993, p. 31).
More than most of the women in his life thus far, Dora Maar was
Picasso's intellectual equal – a characteristic that the artist found
both stimulating and challenging. During the occupation and as tension
mounted in their relationship Picasso would express his frustration by
furiously abstracting her image, often portraying her in tears.