In this work, Picasso depicts himself standing before his model, Marie Thérèse Walter, who for nearly a decade after 1927 was the object of the artist’s passion and persistent subject for his art. The intensity of his attraction is evident in the erotically distorted figure of the nude model and in the richly impastoed, sensuously worked paint.
The incongruous biomorphic shapes that compose the model’s anatomy attest to Picasso’s interest and influence in the emerging surrealist movement, for they recall the improvisational forms created through automatist techniques.
The Painter, 1934
Oil on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1953.215