“Dora Maar with a cat” – a picture of Pablo Picasso, created in the style of cubism. The work was written in 1941. Canvas, oil. 128.3 × 95.3 cm. Currently it is in a private collection. The painting was bought by an unknown Russian buyer in 2004 for $ 95 million.
In the center of the plot is Henrietta Theodora Markovich (1907-1997) – a French artist and photographer, who is also known as Dora Maar. Dora Maar was the lover of Pablo Picasso. She often photographed the artist and was a real muse of the great artist. Picasso painted many portraits, the main model of which was precisely Dora Maar. One of the most famous portraits is “Dora Maar with a cat”.
The work was done in a cubist manner. The picture can represent a caricature shape, which in some characters indicates different characteristic features of a woman – bright clothes with stripes and circles, long sharp nails, a hat with flowers. The woman’s face in the portrait is presented simultaneously in full-face and in profile – a famous reception not only from Picasso, but also other Cubists who borrowed such an image from the fine arts of African tribes. As a digression it is worth explaining that the African tribes, as well as many ancient peoples, could not draw the face of a person in profile and therefore did it similarly to the drawings of children – a face in profile, but both eyes and mouth are drawn on the face in full size. Sharp corners, bright colors and expressive symbols suggest that Picasso painted a woman, whose extraordinary temperament he admired. The picture is finished by a small black cat in the background. The cat here is also a symbol of the unusual temperament and character of Dora, which Picasso called the “Afghan cat.”