《Head of a Woman》
1923 Oil and sand on canvas
©2023 - Succession Pablo Picasso- BCF (JAPAN)
Picasso kept on developing one style after another throughout his career—the Blue Period, the Rose Period, Cubism, and more. After World War I, he returned to a classical style, in a dramatic change from the innovative Cubism he had been engaged in until then. That radical switch to what is called his Neoclassical Period shocked the world. In fact, however, the style known as Synthetic Cubism coexisted with his Neoclassicism until the mid-1920s. Picasso freely chose which of the two styles to use, depending on his subject and motifs.This painting of a woman wearing an ancient Greek style garment presents the characteristics of his Neoclassical period well. While small, it has an honest force. Picasso mixed sand in the pigments he used to give a sense of the texture and grandeur of ancient sculptures and relief carvings. There are several views concerning who his model is. Was it his wife, Olga, or Sara, the wife of Gerald Murphy, a painter with whom Picasso was on close terms at the time? In any case, in his Neoclassical period, he clearly stressed a painting of a woman that praised eternal beauty rather than a por trait of a specific individual. The art critic and collector Fukushima Shigetaro purchased this painting in Paris and brought it to Japan before World War II. Ishibashi Shojiro loved it, and this painting, used in posters for the museum’s opening exhibition and exhibition catalogue cover, became the veritable face of the IshibashiCollection.