Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973)
Tête de Femme au Chapeau/Paysage avec Baigneurs (1962)

Linoleum cut printed in colors on paper
One of the rare impressions outside of the edition, completely unique in showing two distinct
compositions. One of the few surrealistic images of Picasso’s oeuvre done in linogravure
Baer 1284 III. A
25 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (64.14 x 52.71 cm)
913851

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Tête de Femme au Chapeau/Paysage avec Baigneurs (1962), or “Head of a Woman with a Hat/Landscape with Bathers,” by master artist Pablo Picasso survives as a remarkable and fascinating “ambiguous image,” meaning an image that can be reversed or interpreted in various ways. This original linocut belongs to Picasso’s most coveted body of graphic work and remains the sole graphic piece by the artist that can be viewed both vertically and horizontally. The process of forming an ambiguous image is no simple undertaking—speaking to Picasso’s brilliant ability to visually unify two distinct forms. Viewed vertically, Head of a Woman with a Hat/Landscape with Bathers depicts an abstracted head of a woman, composed of bold white strokes juxtaposed against a solid, deep mahogany. This conversation piece was conceived shortly after the artist married his beloved second wife, Jacqueline Roque (1926 -1986). The pair became acquainted in 1953 while Picasso was working at the famed Madoura Pottery workshop and they remained together until his death in 1973. Jacqueline is the subject of much of Picasso’s later work including Head of a Woman with a Hat/Landscape with Bathers, and is remembered as Picasso’s most featured lover and muse. 

Observed horizontally, this extremely rare composition illustrates a sprawling landscape occupied by frolicking bathers. The largest of the three discernable bathers is pictured on the left of the piece, her curvaceous form occupying much of the border. The other two stand on opposite sides of each other, straddling the central axis, with their arms widespread embracing the beautiful day. As a whole, the scene is whimsical and expresses the simple joy of spending an afternoon in nature. Most strikingly, if viewed vertically once more, viewers may recognize that Jacqueline’s right eye is composed of one of the bathers—as if she is an active onlooker of this charming scene. Furthermore, her eyebrows are the ferns that surround the cheerful bathers and her hat, the most leftward woman (when flipped horizontally) who enthralls viewers with her curves. In Head of a Woman with a Hat/Landscape with Bathers, Picasso encourages viewers to contemplate the intricate nuances that form the ambiguous image and engage with the deeply meaningful piece. A composition of unmatched technique and superb execution, Galerie Michael is honored to present Head of a Woman with a Hat/Landscape with Bathers to collectors worldwide.