Auntie Doris’s Great Works of Art #7: Pablo Picasso – Dora Maar Seated, 1937

Dora Marr was Pablo’s girlfriend in those days She was 30, he was 56. He was a randy old so and so, always going out with lasses half his age, and then packing them in for younger models. Do you know that game where you have to stab a knife into the table around each your fingers really quickly, again and again and be careful not to chop any of them off? Well, she was playing that when he met her. She managed not to chop any of her fingers off, but she did cut one of them quite badly. Later on, he asked her for one of her bloodstained gloves and she gave him it, so he put it on his mantelpiece at home. I always think that its interesting to find out how people get together, don’t you?
Any road, to look at some of the pictures he painted of her, you would think that it was her face that had been cut to ribbons. There’s eyes, ears and noses all over the shop. What a mess. An has dropped a bad look at her fingers in this one, they would look like someone had dropped a bag of chips if it wasn’t for the red nail varnish. But Picasso liked drawing people like that. He called it cubism, and he got famous for it.
It’s a funny thing, though, because even after he had painted her all in bits like that, you can still somehow tell that she was a good looking lass. Its like he has been talking to her whilst he was doing the painting, and he forgot to ask her to sit still or something, and every time she moved, he just carried on, doing her in the new position without painting over the bits he had already done.
I like her clothes, very bright and cheerful. I could never get away with wearing stuff like that, but they look good on her. I particularly like the tartan material at the bottom. Its hard to tell what it is though. It might be some of them bondage trousers like what Johnny Rotten used to wear when he was in the Sexy Pistols. But I doubt it, I reckon it’s an old kilt she found stuffed in the back of Pablo’s wardrobe. Maybe he had bought it while he was on holiday in Scotland. In those days you wouldn’t have been able to get those daft Tam O’Shanter hats with fake ginger hair coming out of the sides of them, so he would have had to make do with a kilt. But after he had had a few laughs with it, down at the pub with Georges Braque and Jean Metzinger, the novelty would have worn off and he would have forgotten all about it, until Dora came into his life.
He did other paintings of her, including “Woman Crying” where she is blowing her nose on a hanky and looks ruddy awful. Maybe doing that painting put him off her, because he packed her in soon after that and started going out with Françoise Gilot who was 23.

4 thoughts on “Auntie Doris’s Great Works of Art #7: Pablo Picasso – Dora Maar Seated, 1937

  1. Some great observations here Aunt Doris. Due to your insight I now understand cubism. I see it when I take photographs only then it’s called motion blur.

    So, this here tartan observation – me personally, I reckon he was on a caravan holiday somewhere in Scotland and did what most tourists do and buy a tartan rug thinking “that’ll come in right handy one day”. See where I’m coming from with that one, duck?

    Anyroad forgot to tell thee I like tha post 🙂

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