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Paloma and Her Doll on Black Background

Paloma and Her Doll on Black Background, December 14, 1952

Pablo Picasso
Spanish, 1881-1973
Zinc lithograph on paper
plate: 27-1/2 x 21-3/4 in. (69.9 x 55.2 cm); sheet: 29-7/8 x 22-3/8 in. (75.6 x 56.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on View

Following on the heels of Dora Maar’s relationship with Picasso, Françoise Gilot (b. 1921) came in and out of the artist’s life quickly, but not before leaving a considerable mark. Not only did they have two children together, but Gilot was responsible for re-energizing Picasso after the war. Their dialogue marked a time of artistic reinvention for Picasso, and his portraits of Gilot and the children—some of the most tender in the history of art—indicate Picasso’s significant understanding of the connection between his style and his sitter. He once remarked of the fiercely independent Gilot, “A realistic portrait wouldn’t represent you at all…I don’t see you seated. You’re not at all the passive type. I only see you standing.” His portrait of Paloma (b. 1949) and her doll features the close, childlike viewpoint that infuses all of his portraits of Paloma and Claude (b. 1947)—a reflection of Picasso’s immersion into the child’s world of play and imagination.

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