Weeping Woman: A Masterpiece of Pablo with powerful emotions.

weeping woman

The weeping woman is the prime emotion in the paintings of world famous painter Pablo Picasso. Picasso responds to the political and cultural events of his surroundings through his artwork, but the women in his paintings are a separate subject of his private, sensitive and genius mind. Many women like mother, wife, girlfriend, lover, prostitute, model, beggar on the street have occupied in his emotional world. But he looks at all these characters very ruthlessly. Going beyond love, affection and sympathy, the weeping woman in his picture represents the feelings of anger, lust, excitement, ego, fear, desperation.

A picture-by-picture review of emotions of weeping woman in Picasso's paintings

Every great work of art is born with a dose of ugliness. This ugliness is a sign of the struggle of its creator. This was Pablo’s philosophy. Pablo did many nude paintings of women. She was monstrous, ugly, deformed. The disfigurement was aggressive, Pablo not only defied the standards of beauty, but he began to disintegrate the human body, considered to be nature’s most beautiful creation. Some of the female or female-like figures he made were disproportionately large, as in primitive human sculpture. Crying Woman is his most famous painting, but all his paintings are filled with the feeling of crying. Next it is explained briefly picture wise.

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Weeping woman

Weeping Woman belongs to the same thematic group as Guernica, that monumental work which Picasso painted in the spring of 1937 under the direct impact of news that a peaceful little Basque town had been bombed by Nazi planes coming to General Franco’s assistance. There is a weeping woman in the very first preliminary sketch for Guernica-it is the figure ultimately at the left in the painting, holding her dead child in her arms. In the final version this figure has been somewhat changed, but the expression of heart-rending grief so fascinated the artist that, after completing the large composition, he picked out this very detail for separate treatment several times.

weeping woman

This enormous painting composed with such convincing sureness was executed in a very short time. In January 1937 the Spanish Republican government commissioned Picasso to paint a mural for its pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair to be held that summer. Before Picasso had produced so much as a sketch, on April 28 the whole world learned of the bombing of Guernica by the Germans- the first of those acts of senseless, inhuman, mass destruction that were, in the next few years, to demolish other cities in other countries.

Picasso expressed his bitter, savage fury over this atrocious deed in an extremely rigorous composition in this picture. The mythical figures are linked with each other within a triangular form that brings to mind the pediment of a Greek temple. Apocalyptic events take place within this area-the scream of the mortally wounded horse, the fear of the woman in the burning house, the agony of the warrior with the broken sword, and, at the left, the weeping woman. Weeping Woman is a postscript.  The handkerchief which the weeping woman is biting in her boundless grief is a later invention that adds to the hectic vehemence of the expression.

La rapasseuse (Woman Ironing)

Picasso sees the woman ironing as “a revered martyr of human society,” no less sublime than El Greco’s saints and martyrs. In this work a single figure conveys the misery and tragedy which Picasso treated more allegorically in the big canvas La Vie. The originality of La Repasseuse becomes clearer when we compare it with Degas’ treatment of the same subject, in a different spirit.

weeping woman

Picasso’s figure becomes symbol of humanity spiritualized, enduring the servitude of labor with resignation but also with dignity. Picasso’s image of man in these years reflects an attitude at was not unusual at the beginning of the century assigning greater weight spiritual values than to the observation of visible reality.

In his works of the Period, Picasso was paving the way for a wholly spiritual kind of painting, longer limited by contingencies of perception.

The austerity and sparseness of the forms and colors in this painting are admirably in tune with the subject; defined in a few lines, the figure is set against a simple background distinguished only by its coloring.

This sparseness of means characterizes much of Picasso’s art in the early years of the century. Scornful of easy effects, the artist realises his deeper intentions, to portray human misery not just its tragic implications, but also in its ennobling power. 

La Coiffure

La Coiffure is one of the finest works of this period, outstanding in its classical calm and objectivity. The three figures form a pyramid, in keeping with the concept of figure composition which had been current in classical painting since Leonardo.

weeping woman

This rigorously ordered work may have been inspired by Picasso’s study of classical painting in The Louvre. The young artist may also have been influenced by the art of Cézanne, represented at the Salon d’Automne in 1905 by ten important paintings in which compositional values are deliberately emphasized.

Even earlier, while still a student in Spain, Picasso had been greatly drawn to the classical current in French painting, and admired its leading living repre- sentative, Puvis de Chavannes.

It is to the classical spirit of such masters that Picasso’s work in the second half of 1905 comes close. Among these works La Coiffure stands out most prominently.

The calm and balance of the composition overshadows psychological and lyrical elements: the figures are subordinated to the part they play in the compositional arrangement. Moreover-perhaps for the first time in Picasso’s career-the com- position takes account of spatial values.

The pyramidal pattern and the volumes of the bodies suggest depth to a degree never seen before in Picasso’s paintings: the artist had made little attempt to represent it before. Now, having made his first sculptures-the Head of a Harlequin dates from this same year. Picasso is more aware of the potentialities of plastic effects, and these contribute to the unity and dignity of his paintings in the classical manner.

Les demoiselles d'Avinyo

Pablo’s new picture was being completed in 1907. Very big in size. Pablo had carefully prepared the canvas. They were very explosive, violent nudes. Five women, two seated, three standing. The manner of standing should be like that of prostitutes in a brothel. Because it is a brothel. A curtain drawn to one side gave it the impression of a stage. A basket of fruits is kept in front. All women’s faces are like a mask, no one knows what is inside it, which is there.

Les demoiselles d'Avinyo (The Daughters of Avinyo).

The rest of the bodies are mere bodies, bones and flesh, vas! Everything else is behind that mask. Barcelona has a square called Avinyo. There was a brothel. Hence the title of the picture : Les demoiselles d’Avinyo (The Daughters of Avinyo). There is a city in France called Avignon.

Since both names are pronounced the same, the picture was later named Demeiselles d’Avignon. At some point later, Picasso told his dealer Kahnveller, ‘At first it was called ‘Bourdel d’Avenue’ (Bordel d’Avenue). The name Avinyo was attached to my life….I lived a few steps from ‘Kaye the’ Avinyo’ (Barcelona).

I used to buy paints and paper from there. You also know that Max’s grandmother Malchi Avignon (France) we used to make fun of him from that picture. One of the girls in the picture is Max’s grandmother, the other is Phand, the third is Marie Lorenz. All were in the whorehouses of the Avenue… I hate the name ‘Damvangel the Avenue’. It is kept by Salmo.’

Woman with a fan

Woman with a Fan is very much the work in which his development toward plasticity, the magic of firmly built self-contained forms, reaches its culmination. Picasso drew inspiration for this sculptural treatment from the masks and sculptures of primitive Negro cultures, from which he derived the expressive value of great plastic masses. Its seem like weeping woman.

Weeping woman

The presence of volume becomes an expressive means for him, but he does not produce sculpture; rather, he treats bodies in his paintings as simply carved masses. This is why he limits his palette to a few red-brown and ocher tones-the colors of tropical wood or burnt clay which do not divert the eye from the impact of plastic forms. Plastic, three-dimensional treatment now occupies a central place in his art, and all other means of expression are subordinated to it. However, the three-dimensional effect is not an end in itself rather, it serves as a vehicle for the artist’s increasingly spiritual outlook.

Woman with a Fan illustrates this approach. The dignity and nobility that seem to radiate from the figure have been achieved by a reduction of the forms to rigorous geometric elements. All detail has been eliminated, the structure of the figure on the chair being the sole point of emphasis. As a result the woman suggests some ancient goddess, dignified and imperturbable. The painting’s remarkable austerity is wholly magical in its effect; Picasso achieved it by going back to the elemental plasticity of art.


Picasso’s newer works, a new conception of landscape is making itself felt: the things of nature become solid and tangible, fill up the pictorial space, and in their spatial aspects are treated as equals of the human figure. Not only trees, plants, and the forms of nature have become more solid; space itself has become solid and tangible.

weeping woman

Picasso’s paintings during these months, for all the rigidity of their structure, clearly reflect the rest and relaxation of a stay in the country. Color the color of the Ile de France, the saturated, luscious green once again appears in these works. To be sure, Picasso’s palette is extremely restricted: just as he renounces transitions between forms, and builds compositions out of the simplest formal elements, so he imposes strict limits on color: he confines himself to brown, ocher, and green.

They clarify the formal structure, while conceding precedence to form. Nevertheless, it is the color in these works that gives them a freer, broader sense of life. Having lingered in a world primarily determined by the human figure, Picasso has come out of doors at last. Physical rest and relaxation seem to be at work in this development, which led the artist to magnificent paintings that give the synthesis between man and nature this new universal

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