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The Harem

The Harem

1906

Pablo Picasso

(Spanish, 1881-1973)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 174 x 130.5 x 11.4 cm (68 1/2 x 51 3/8 x 4 1/2 in.); Unframed: 154.3 x 110 cm (60 3/4 x 43 5/16 in.); Former: 163.2 x 120 x 6.1 cm (64 1/4 x 47 1/4 x 2 3/8 in.)

Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1958.45

Fun Fact

This painting dates from Picasso's Rose Period, named for the rosy pink and orange hues that dominate many of his compositions during this time. The Rose Period followed his Blue Period, and the colors are reflective of his mood. The Blue Period is connected to a period of depression following the death of his close friend Carlos Casagemas, while the happier tones of the Rose Period coincide with his happiness in his relationship with Fernande Olivier.

Description

Picasso painted this lyrical composition, one of his most important of the Rose Period (1904-6), in the remote village of Gósol in the Spanish Pyrenees. He based the composition on sketches of his lover, Fernande Olivier, combing her hair and bathing. Also inspired by J. A. D. Ingres's The Turkish Bath (Musée du Louvre), Picasso placed Fernande in the context of a harem. Thin veils of color suggest the ethereal odor of a perfume or the smoke from an opium pipe.

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