Tete de Femme de Profil
Tete de Femme de Profil (Bloch 6)

1905 (Probably February, Paris)
From the Suite des Saltimbanques
Drypoint printed on Japon
From the edition of 27 or 29
Printed by Fort, 1913
Published by Vollard, 1913
Plate: 11 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches
Sheet: 21 3/4 x 15 1/2 inches
(Bloch 6; Baer 7.b.1)

This print was issued with the Suite des Saltimbanques though the subject is not an acrobat but rather Madeleine, Picasso’s first lover after settling in Paris in 1904. She appears in several of his early works; during the Blue period, her thin body and angular features augment the somber and destitute mood. Here, she emerges as an “ethereal, almost dreamlike” figure (as described by MoMA curator Deborah Wye), heralding Picasso’s shift to the Rose period during which his work focused on allegorical scenes and his subjects possess an otherworldly quality.i

This bittersweet and naturalistic portrait reveals a young and immensely talented artist whose work is yet grounded in the traditional training he received as a student. This impression is one of 27 or 29 on Japon paper from the 1913 Vollard edition printed by Fort, after the plate was steelfaced.

iA Picasso Portfolio. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010, 119.