While looking at this sculpture it is transformed every time you move your own head, walk around it, and bend closer. It just has a way of changing shape. While looking at it, it first appeared to me as a man or some kind of creature. Looking at the name, one would realize what the sculpture is. The sculpture was a woman. It has a lot of rough and sharp points, but the surface was very smooth. It is kind of disturbing on how Picasso seems to see beneath the skin. He reveals the tendons in Fernande's neck. The fractured texture of Fernande's face, her hair a system of gorges and upland ridges, is a metaphor for the way we experience another person. (Hughs) Like Rembrandt's most intimate portraits, it is about the mystery of being close to another human being. (Cooper) Picasso makes you recognize this by inviting your eye down into those channels and crevices, until you feel you are inside Fernande's head. You can never exhaust the richness of this head. (Hughs)
The subject of this sculpture is Fernande Olivier. She was Picasso's lover. Fernande's real name was Amelie Lang. She had worked as an artist's model in Montmartre and was an aspiring painter. They had spent the summer of 1909 in the Spanish mountains, where Picasso painted Fernande in a similarly way. He made this head almost as soon as he returned to Paris. Picasso spoke about being caught by her beauty and began a long term relationship with Fernande Olivier; however by 1909, when he made this head the strain in their relationship was showing. By 1912, the relationship had ended.
Picasso broke the tradition in 1909 in creating Head of a Woman (Fernande). It is... [continues]
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