Gift from the Aramont Art Collection



The Prado Museum is exhibiting, Buste de Femme 43 by Picasso, a generous gift from the Aramont Art Collection to American Friends of the Prado Museum. 

Picasso painted this canvas in a single day, on October 7, 1943, in the studio at his home on rue des Grands-Augustins in Paris. He defined the figure with rapid, very confident strokes, applying thicker ones to the torso and finer ones to the face which have a luminous precision due to the pale double outline.

With regard to the color, Picasso made a subtle use of very diluted pigments which allow the white preparation to show through. The resonance of the backgound tones and the emphatic form of the woman, shown wearing a mantilla, reflect the artists appreciation of the Spanish tradition, which is more evident here than in his other works on similar subjects.   

 
The presentation of the artwork in the El Greco gallery in the company of The Buffoon Calabacillas by Velázquez intends to reveal the significant influence of the great tradition of Spanish painting on Picasso. He was actively involved in the rediscovery and reassessment of El Greco, whom the avant-garde artists saw as a founding figure of modern painting. Additionally, at the age of just fifteen he drew a copy of The Buffoon Calabacillas in his notebook from his first visit to the Prado. 

The result is to establish a dialogue which allows visitors to discern and appreciate the echoes of the past in Picasso's work, as well as connections and affinities with artistic tradition that made him an artist highly aware of the legacy of the Old Masters.

Picasso was appointed director of the Prado in 1936. The artist accepted the appointment but never officially took possession of the post.