Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Woman’s Head (Fernande)
Signed Picasso
Paris, 1906
Bronze, Vollard Cast Smelting
35.7 x 24.8 x 24.4 cm
Acquisition, 2000
MPB 113.035

The Work

This beautifully proportioned bronze represents a simplification of the face of Fernande Olivier’s, Picasso’s partner from 1904 to 1912.

The sculpture is an example of what Werner Spies calls ‘assymmetric modelling’, comprising of modelling a part of the face with precise details whilst leaving the other part and the outer areas more blurred. Spies, in his book The Sculpture of Picasso, also outlines some resources used by Picasso, such as the use of gauze or net in the still wet plaster so as to achieve the porous texture on the right-hand side.

This piece is an example of the edition made by the dealer Ambroise Vollard and weighs 7.9 kg. Another example from this short edition is held at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris.

Location

Room 8

Bibliography

Johnson, Ron, The Early Sculpture of Picasso: 1901-1914. New York, Garland, 1976, no. 33, p. 205
Johnson, Una E., Ambroise Vollard, Éditeur: Prints, Books, Bronzes. New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1977, no. 228
Palau i Fabre, Josep, Picasso vivent: 1881-1907. Barcelona, Polígrafa, 1980, no. 1205, p. 437, 548
Penrose, Roland, The Sculpture of Picasso. New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1967, p. 53
Spies, Werner; Piot, Christine (col.), Picasso sculpteur: catalogue raisonné des sculptures. Paris, Centre Pompidou, 2000, no. 6, p. 346, 394
Zervos, Christian, Pablo Picasso: vol. I, œuvres de 1895 à 1906. Paris, Cahiers d'art, 1932, no. 323, p. 149.