Pablo said later that Dora always symbolized for him the weeping woman, basically meaning the suffering woman. She thus became a model for the mater dolorosa, understood by the artist as an attitude ranging from a passive sentimentality to an activist rage against oppression.
Dora accompanies the gradual creation of Guernica and produces a photographic report of the preparation of the artwork. A crying woman could be a candidate to enter this terrible scene. Picasso gives up, probably after appreciating that the image of victimized women based on Marie-Thérèse will better reinforce his political message on the horror of war.
On July 1, 1937, Pablo executes in a single day seven successive states of the engraving of La femme qui pleure I. The third and seventh state are printed in fifteen copies each, 69 x 49 cm on 77 x 57 cm sheet.
In this seventh and final state, the rage expressed by Dora joins the intensity of the message of Guernica. The simultaneous conception of both themes is a consequence of the excitement of Pablo, unbalanced altogether by the rape of his anti-war feelings and his unprecedented issues with women.
The seventh state is the most outstanding print in auction history. The number 3/15 was sold for $ 5.1 million including premium by Christie's on November 1, 2011. The 8/15 previously discussed in this column was sold for £ 3.2 million including premium by Sotheby's on February 5, 2014. The number 11/15 is estimated $ 4M for sale by Christie's in New York on May 14, lot 5C.