“As Paris entered its second year under German occupation, Picasso retreated to his left-bank studio on the rue des Grands Augustins and executed a staggering sequence of paintings of his lover Dora Maar. By turns anguished and lyrical, aggressive and despondent, the works all share an urgency, making them as much expressions of Picasso’s state of mind as portraits of Dora,” Conor Jordan, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked in a statement.
An artist, photographer, and poet in her own right, Maar was a creative collaborator with Picasso. Until recently, history has relegated her to being only his muse. With recent books and major exhibitions, Maar is finally getting the recognition she deserves. The growing acknowledgment of Maar’s own artistic merit and achievements only adds to the value of this work and other portraits of her. The Christie’s sale marks the painting’s first time at auction, where it will be sold alongside works by Paul Cézanne, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Joan Mitchell.