Famous Portraits – Dora Maar au Chat

While some praise him as an incredible talented artist and others describe his works as being similar to those made by a two year old, Pablo Picasso was never the less an influential painter that “broke” the traditional rules of painting and cast a new light on what people were regarding as art.

He and his friend started the cubist movement, one that has lead to a more abstract style. Although he was able to pint in a realist manner his creative spirit wanted to bring something new and never seen before. Therefore he began mixing more than one viewpoint of his subjects into a single form and the resulted work seemed “broken”, containing straight lines and sharp angles.

This was called “cubes” by a French art critic in the early 20th century and there resulted the term “cubism”. Dora Maar was the name of one of Pablo’s girlfriends. She was a professional photographer and the artist depicted her in a number of paintings.

In “Dora Maar au Chat” we find her in a calm state, resting on a chair with a black cat behind her right shoulder. Picasso breaks the image in a way that the sense of space and depth is lost, while the shapes seem to be colliding violently. The woman’s red and dark blue dress is ornamented with dots and her green blouse with horizontal black lines.

The hat is also represented as an important element of Dora Maar and her involvement with the surrealist movement. Known for her coquette hands, they are painted here with long sharp nails symbolizing both femininity and violence.


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