This piece is printed in black and ochre on woven paper and framed. The subject is inspired by a portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder some several hundred years prior (around 1526) titled ‘Portrait of Sybille von Cleve as a Bride’. Here she is more loose and freely drawn – her hair down and dishevelled, with the wild, full flora crowning her connoting some kind of allegorical figure. We can see Picasso’s exploratory expression of the lattice texture around the bust and shoulders of von Cleve’s dress. This work oozes the character and essence of Pablo Picasso’s work, and serves as a wonderful example of the artist’s adept hand, and mastery of various mediums.
At around this moment in his career, Picasso had begun to focus on sculpture as his creative outlet. This feels particularly relevant to this work, as when learning to print on stone Picasso was reprimanded by his peers for carving directly into the stone, creating reliefs rather than simply laying ink onto the stones’ surfaces. Other famous prints by Picasso include his satirical Franco series – largely considered his first overtly political works.
Also in this year, Picasso participated in an international exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.