National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Image: Picasso-The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Related Resources

Exhibition Highlights

Exhibition Overview

Lecture Abstracts

Works by Pablo Picasso
in the Gallery's Collection

Press Materials

Image: Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Fernande, Horta de Ebro, summer 1909Between spring and fall 1909, Picasso produced more than 60 portraits of his companion, Fernande Olivier, in a variety of formats and mediums. In its intense devotion to a single subject, the series is virtually unprecedented in the history of portraiture. Powerful and melancholic, these portraits are among the most compelling in the history of modern art. This exhibition brings together some 50 of the related works, revealing Picasso's exploration of cubism and his radical reformulation of human physiognomy.

The National Gallery of Art recently acquired an early bronze cast of Head of a Woman (Fernande), the culmination of the Fernande series. An icon of early modernism, it is the first example of Picasso's work in sculpture that reflects serious formal experimentation. By seizing a single extended moment in the development of cubism and presenting it comprehensively, this exhibition and the accompanying catalogue allows us to examine Picasso's working process in rare depth.