Femme brune de trois quarts, was created in
1947 as an illustration for the book "Vingt Poèmes de
Góngora". (Luis de Góngora was a Castilian poet from
Cordova who lived 1561-1627.) The book was illustrated with 41
original etchings and Spanish text hand-written by Picasso. The
poems were also printed in French.
This illustration is one of the heads of women that were
created for the
book which was published by Les
Grands Peintres Modernes et le Livre (Paris) in 1948.
The full collection is at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
and on display at the Picasso Foundation in
Málaga where Picasso was born. Earlier this year the
entire book and illustrations were exhibited at the Picasso Museum in
This illustration accompanied one of 20 sonnets by Góngora that
were hand-written by Picasso in this special book. Picasso knew
poetry as a youth in Spain and reconnected with it after World War II
when he began creating pottery in Vallauris. His illustrations
for the book are testimony to his love of all things feminine and Spain.
used the lift ground process he had so
thoroughly explored during his work on the illustrations for Buffon
[also in this exhibition]. Here, however, he worked the plates
directly - without
retouches, without tonal superimpositions, using neither scraper nor
burnisher - instead of placing them twice in acid to achieve first the
grey, then the black tones; he drew directly on the plates - sometimes
with brush, sometimes with pen" - Goeppert/Cramer catalog, page 138.