Oil, charcoal and sand on canvas
50 x 61 cm
Museo Picasso Málaga
Gift of Bernard Ruiz-Picasso
Woman with Raised Arms
Picasso met the photographer Dora Maar in the early summer of 1936, and she soon became his constant companion. She can be recognized as the inspiration for the half-length figure portrayed in Woman with Raised Arms. Her dark cropped hair flows from behind her head, as if she were reclining and the artist were painting her from above. She is wearing a blue flowered dress, and her long eyelashes and prominent chin are unmistakable in the combined frontal and profile view of the face. Her long, pointed fingernails are also keys to her identity in the artist’s work […].
Although Picasso and Maar had been holidaying among friends in Mougins, the outbreak of war in Spain in July 1936 strongly affected the artist’s mood. While Woman with Raised Arms celebrates the presence of a new love in Picasso’s life, the upward-reaching arms with gesturing hands and the sense of wild movement also bring a new intensity to his work, anticipating the emotion-filled portrayals of Maar as a weeping woman in the following year.
Marilyn McCully in Museo Picasso Málaga: collection (FMPM. LPCBRP, 2010, p. 38-39).