Interpretive Resource

Related Story: VIEW Marie-Thérèse Walker

Related Story: VIEW Marie-Thérèse Walker

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Marie-Thérèse Walter at the beach, Dinard, France, August 1928. Photograph by Picasso © Archives Maya Widmaier Picasso.

In 1927 Picasso met 17-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter in front of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris, saying, “Mademoiselle, you have an interesting face. I would like to make your portrait. I am Picasso.” Marie-Thérèse soon became Picasso’s lover, but because the artist was married he kept his romantic relationship with her shrouded in secrecy for many years. It was only when Marie-Thérèse became pregnant and gave birth to their daughter, Maya, in 1935, that their affair was revealed. Picasso was utterly captivated by Marie-Thérèse’s youth, beauty, and vitality; between 1927 and 1939 he created hundreds of drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures referencing her distinct straight blond hair, Grecian profile, and soft figure. Below are other works featuring Marie-Thérèse in the Art Institute’s collection.




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Pablo Picasso, printed by Eugene Marchizet, Face of Marie-Thérèse, 1928. Gift of Walter S. Brewster. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.




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Pablo Picasso, Marie-Thérèse Seated on the Ground, 1933. Richard and Mary L. Gray Collection. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.




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Pablo Picasso, printed by Roger Lacourière, Sculptor Working on a Motif with Marie-Thérèse Posing, plate 59 from the Suite Vollard, March 31, 1933; printed 1939. Bequest of Maribel G. Blum. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.




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Pablo Picasso, printed by Roger Lacourière, Marie-Thérèse Kneeling, Contemplating a Sculpted Group, plate 66 from the Suite Vollard, April 5, 1933; printed 1939. Margaret Day Blake Collection. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.




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Pablo Picasso, printed by Roger Lacourière, Marie-Thérèse as Female Bullfighter, plate 22 from the Suite Vollard, June 20, 1934. Mary MacDonald Ludgin Memorial Fund. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.




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Pablo Picasso, The Minotaur, June 24, 1933, 1933. Margaret Day Blake Collection. © 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


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