Seated Woman (Marie-Therese),1937 by Picasso
This joyful work was painted at the start of an amazingly prolific year, in which Picasso produced many powerful creations, including Guernica (1937). The influence of his young love and muse had recharged him, and he became a legend in his own lifetime. This painting has a sense of harlequinade, as strong bright bands of colour are arranged so that the dress appears like a costume. The figure may also resemble a queen court card from a deck of playing cards, whose imagery is often designed with stripes and banding creatively reversed on the same plane. Here, the bands of colour are superbly controlled by the black or white striations to create a wonderful series of energetic patterns across the contours of the body.
Picasso again returns to his technique of red and green polarisation to add a further dimension of animation. This colour combination usually creates a flatness of the picture surface but he mitigates this beautifully with the construction of a Cubist sense of spatial depth. This is created by the illusion of the two corners in the tightly receding room behind the figure. As a result, the powerful body of Marie-Therese projects from the picture in sharp relief.