The Muse, 1935 by Pablo Picasso

The theme of the young girl drawing, a more general variation on the Studio theme and a transposition of the subject Painter and his Model begun in 1926, appeared for the first time in January 1933, in two separate drawings. The same motif resurfaced in 1935, but this time as a monstrous biomorphic face looking at itself in a mirror, which reflects a realistic image.

The repetition of the actual model and her portrait was developed, in subsequent drawings, by the inclusion of a second young woman on her knees, bent over a table, sleeping. There are numerous preparatory studies for the final version of The Muse, which was completed in February 1935. A later drawing dated 11th February, with colour annotations, records its final state. There is a second version of this painting in New York in which the young girl is clothed and wears a coronet of flowers. The roundness of forms and the arabesques recall some of those works by Matisse inspired by Moroccan themes.