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Femme assise, fond rouge et jaune (Seated Woman, Red and Yellow Background) (work of art)

Artwork Info

Pablo Picasso
49 1/4 × 31 7/8 inches (125.1 × 81 centimeters)


Gift of Julian and Josie Robertson

Object Number

Key Ideas about this Work of Art

  • Pablo Picasso was one of the founders of cubism. Cubism is a 20th-century art style that breaks down and simplifies an object into abstract, geometric shapes. These shapes depict multiple viewpoints of a subject at the same time.
  • This painting depicts a seated woman whose face and body are broken into abstract, geometric shapes. The left and right sides of the portrait face different directions, and parts of the woman’s body are shown from different perspectives. The artist combined different views of the same subject to create a single abstract portrait.
  • The woman represented in this painting is French artist Françoise Gilot. She had a relationship with Picasso for 10 years before she reportedly left him. Picasso completed this painting towards the end of their relationship.

Learn More

Pablo Picasso and French painter Georges Braque (1882–1963) invented cubism in the early 20th century. Cubism is an artistic style that breaks objects and figures down into distinct shapes, to show various viewpoints of a subject at the same time. 

The seated woman depicted in this work is French artist Françoise Gilot. She met Picasso in 1943, and they were in a romantic relationship for 10 years. Their relationship was ending at the time that Picasso painted this representation of her. He translated his emotional tension through the cubist technique of painting his subject’s face and body as fragmented forms. Gilot is said to be the only woman Picasso dated who broke up with him. She was a successful artist for many years, and she lived to be 101 years old.

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  • A painting of a nude, seated woman. Her face and body are made up of abstract, geometric shapes. She is sitting in a chair, with her left arm on the armrest and her right arm propped under her jaw.

    Femme assise, fond rouge et jaune (Seated Woman, Red and Yellow Background)