Pablo Picasso
_Nude in a rocking chair_ 1956
AGNSW collection

Pablo Picasso

Nude in a rocking chair


When he painted this picture Picasso was 75 and a towering legend of modern art.

There is a lot of Picasso in this image.

The model was his muse and second wife, Jacqueline Roque, sitting in his new villa near the French coastal town of Cannes.

And although the woman herself does not have a face, you can see a face - perhaps Picasso's own - in the figure: the nipples are like eyes and the navel like a nose, with a jagged mouth below.

There are elements of his friend Henri Matisse, who had died two years earlier. The blocks of bright colour and the small blue palm tree are reminiscent of Matisse's style.

Picasso lived into his 90s, producing tens of thousands of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, ceramics and designs for theatre sets and costumes. Many of these works were of women, including hundreds of Jacqueline - who appears in more Picasso pictures than any other individual. Over 40 years different in age, they were together for the last 20 years of Picasso's life.

oil on canvas, 196 x 130.8 cm, purchased 1981 © Pablo Picasso/Succession Pablo Picasso. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 66.1981