Dora is a committed intellectual, probably fully aware of her role as a mirror. Eccentric and provocative, she accepts to see her image disfigured by the fantasies of Pablo. In real life she was not the crying woman, despite her political hypersensitivity. Yet she painted self-portraits in this role to give reason to Pablo.
Dora Maar au chat, painted by Picasso in 1941, must be considered in relation to the war. She is locked in her armchair without access to the outside world, as later Francis Bacon's pope. Hope is weak but still exists, marked by the coquetry of the hat and nails and by the freedom of a microscopic cat.
In the following year the atmosphere in Paris is even more painful. Attacks on degenerate art become insistent. Pablo needs Dora but she is threatened by her past as an anti-fascist activist. He locks her back in her chair but equip her with the nose of his Afghan dog so that she is no more recognizable by their persecutors. He will take care much later to state that there was no sadism in his portraits of Dora Maar.
Portrait de femme (Dora Maar), oil on panel 100 x 80 cm painted on August 5, 1942, was sold for $ 22.6M including premium by Christie's on May 6, 2014. On June 20 in London, Christie's sells as lot 20 B Femme dans un fauteuil (Dora Maar), oil on canvas 92 x 73 cm painted on April 24, 1942.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for £ 19.4M including premium