Mujer en azul (Woman in Blue)

  • Date: 
    1901 (Madrid)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    133 x 100 cm
  • Category: 
    Painting
  • Entry date: 
    1988
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 
    AS01618
  • On display in:

Between January and May of 1901, after an initial spell in Paris the previous year, Picasso took up residence in Madrid. It was there that he would come into contact with writers and artists from the Generation of ‘98, with whom he worked on the journal Arte Joven (Young Art), operating as artistic director. During those months, in addition to illustrations for the publication, Picasso produced a series of courtesan portraits with myriad references ranging from modernism – with which he had become acquainted in Barcelona – to Van Gogh, Toulouse Lautrec, the brushstrokes of El Greco and even Velázquez, from whom he borrowed the composition from his Queen Mariana of Austria portrait.
Picasso sent Mujer en azul to the General Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid that same year, where it went unnoticed. Before the show concluded he had already left Madrid to prepare his first solo show in Paris, and the work would fall into oblivion and not be retrieved until decades later, when it became part of the then Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno. Raúl Martínez Arranz

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