Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat) is a 1941 painting by Pablo Picasso. It depicts Dora Maar, the painter’s lover, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders. The work is one of the world’s most expensive paintings.
The canvas (50 ½ by 37 ½ inches / 128.3 cm by 95.3 cm) was one of many portraits of Dora Maar painted by Pablo Picasso over their nearly decade-long relationship. Picasso fell in love at the age of 55 with the 29-year-old Maar and the couple soon began living together. This painting was made during the year 1941, when the Nazis were occupying France. Source [WikiPedia]
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Interesting Facts About Portrait of Dora Maar au Chat
- The painting depicts Dora Maar, Picasso’s lover, sitting in a chair and there is a small cat sitting on her shoulders which some have described as looking like a combination of menacing and amusing.
- Despite its simple theme for a painting, it is has the honor of being one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
- This particular portrait is one of many that Picasso painted during his ten year relationship with Dora Maar, which began when Picasso was fifty five years old.
- The painting itself is not excessively large, measuring 50.5” by 37.5″
- Picasso has used faceted planes to depict her body and has also used brushstrokes which have been layered richly, in order to project a sculptured quality.
- Dora Maar au Chat possesses rich symbolism in the form of Dora Maher’s hat, in that it signifies an accessory for which she was very well-known, as well as her involvement in the surrealist movement. The attention which Picasso has paid to the hat contrasts with the rich patterning of her dress.
- Picasso placed the hat as if it were a crown on her head, the bright red band and very colorful feathers adding to the symbolism. It is also said that Maar looks similar to a pagan goddess, due to the way that Picasso has seated her in the chair, in that the chair represents a throne.