It is difficult to recognize the influence of Delacroix upon the Demoiselles because the tribal art that inspired the deconstruction of forms is the real origin of Cubism. Other influences have also been identified for this painting which is one of the most important breakthroughs of Western art : el Greco, Cézanne, Gauguin.
Matisse died in 1954. His Odalisques were famous. Picasso had not used this theme which exacerbated the colors and he was somehow jealous of his late friend. He disguises Jacqueline but this is not enough to equal the glory of his rival. To resume his place in the history of art, he resuscitates the Femmes d'Alger in a series of fifteen paintings numbered A to O.
The series is an imitation of the styles of Picasso's career starting from his invention of Cubism. The latest version, O, oil on canvas 114 x 146 cm achieved on 14 February 1955, appears as a synthesis of this rather disparate set, like the ultimate completion of Pablo's art on that date.
It takes much imagination to see Delacroix's influence in the Version O, but the comparison with the Demoiselles is obvious. The women are naked or half dressed but in a later cubism style that excites the imagination by blurring the vision. The standing woman on the left displays a much better readability that joins the then recent art of Pablo.
Pablo has always enjoyed to confront himself with the great masters. The large mirror anticipates his series of Las Meninas painted two years later.
Version O of Les Femmes d'Alger was sold for $ 32M including premium by Christie's on 10 November 1997. It is for sale on May 11 at Christie's in New York, lot 8A. The press release of March 25 indicates an estimate in the region of $ 140M.