L'aubade: Études de nus allongés (Dora Maar)

Pablo Picasso

L'aubade: Études de nus allongés (Dora Maar) , 1941

Works on paper
8-1/4" x 10-5/8" inches, (21.1 x 27 cm)
Dated 26 août 41 upper left
Pencil on paper
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Estate of the artist; Marina Picasso Collection (the artist’s granddaughter; acquired from the above); Private collection, United States

About the artist

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Producing over 20,000 works in his lifetime, Picasso’s oeuvre consists of painting, collage, sculpture, etchings, and ceramics. Born in Málaga, Spain, Picasso’s interest and practice in art began at an early age. His father Don José Ruiz y Blasco was an artist and teacher and began training Picasso in drawing and oil painting at the age of seven. He eventually went on to study at the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, Spain’s top art academy at the time, for a brief period before permanently moving to Paris in 1904. 

In Paris, Picasso cultivated a network of artists, poets, writers, and collectors who would help inspire new approaches to his art. For example, his friendship with Georges Braque led to the birth of early Cubism, in which both artists were attempting to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane. Picasso’s fascination with pre-Roman Iberian sculpture and African and Oceanic art also began after his move to Paris and heavily influenced his style of Cubism. The painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon marks Picasso’s break from traditional composition to the beginning of his experimentation with Cubism. Cubism would appear in his work to varying degrees for the rest of his long career, but there were periods in which it was less pronounced. The 1920s mark Picasso’s transition to his Neoclassical period and later Surrealist period. 

Picasso’s monumental work Guernica was painted in 1937 in response to his outrage over the Spanish Civil War. Arguably one of Picasso’s most overtly political pieces, this work not only shows the horror of wartime but also Picasso’s deep connection to his Spanish roots, even while living in France. By the late 1940s, Picasso moved to the south of France, and his international fame continued to increase. In 1957, Picasso had a massive retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art that attracted over 100,000 visitors in its first month and is said to have solidified Picasso’s prominence among the art world. Creating work up until he died, Picasso's work remains central to many collections both public and private, and the artist is credited with defining the visual language of modernism. The fascination with Picasso' artistic genius will likely never fade. 

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