About This Artwork

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
printed by Roger Lacourière (French, 1892-1966)

Weeping Woman I, July 1, 1937

Drypoint, aquatint, and etching, with scraping on copper in black on ivory laid paper
695 x 497 mm (plate); 774 x 568 mm (sheet)

Through prior acquisition of the Martin A. Ryerson Collection with the assistance of the Noel and Florence Rothman Family and the Margaret Fisher Endowment, 1994.707

© 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

A ferocious image of grief, Weeping Woman I is one of the most powerful works that Pablo Picasso undertook in the wake of his seminal Guernica (1937; Museo del Prado, Madrid). After completing Guernica, an expression of the horrors of war and a critique of fascist tyranny, Picasso continued to be drawn to the subject of agonized grief. Between June and December 1937, he undertook a series of drawings, paintings, and prints known as The Weeping Women, in which he focused and elaborated on two figures first presented in Guernica. The figure in this print may also represent the artist’s lover, the Surrealist photographer Dora Maar. In Weeping Woman I, Picasso drew inspiration from contemporary events and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century religious imagery. He modernized the traditional theme of the Virgin Mary lamenting the death of her son. The importance Picasso accorded this etching is suggested not only by its size—it was the largest plate he had yet attempted—but also by the energy he invested in it. He developed the finished print through seven independent states. It seems that he felt the need to work and rework this image, perhaps in an effort to exorcise the demons of war and his difficult relationship with Maar.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2013, p. 325.

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