He tries by their portraits to compare the opposite temperaments of his two mistresses. Two paintings dated in the same day, December 4, 1937, displays them separately. The contours of the faces are identical, in his signature style defining altogether front side and profile. The eyes, nose, mouth and even the big heart-shaped tear that covers the entire cheek are similar.
Beyond such a similarity the differences are all the more significant, as for example between the white skin of Marie-Thérèse and the bright yellow of Dora. Maya's young mother is nicely dressed in a checkered dress and wears a beret. The new mistress has a circus hat and a fur collar.
Pablo has hidden his dual love in both individual portraits. The oval shadow that appears between Dora's face and her dark hair is Marie-Thérèse's cheek. On the dark background of Marie-Thérèse's portrait a black shadow is barely discernible. This one follows the right profile of the head in an angular line that evokes Dora.
This interpretation is not exaggerated. The symbolic use of shadow had already been practiced by Pablo as a self-portrait behind Olga in 1931 when he was still trying to hide his relationship with Marie-Thérèse but had already decided to part from his wife.
On January 12, 1938 Picasso gives a continuation to the double portrait of the previous month by amalgamating the features of Dora and Marie-Thérèse in a single figure. Buste de femme (femme à la résille) was sold for $ 67M including premium by Christie's on May 11, 2015. These three artworks of 1937 and 1938 were highly important for Picasso seeking to control his own emotional crisis : he kept them until his death 35 years later.
On February 28 in London, Sotheby's sells as lot 7 Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter), the oil on canvas 55 x 46 cm painted on December 4, 1937. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for £ 50M including premium