In May 1909 Pablo Picasso and his lover Fernande Olivier left Paris in order to spend the summer in the artist’s native Spain, arriving first in Barcelona. Having stayed there longer than initially intended due to Fernande’s ill health, in early June the couple arrived in Horta de Ebro (now Horta de Sant Joan), a remote Catalonian village which could only be reached by mule, where they stayed until September. The summer months spent in Horta proved to be one of the most significant periods of Picasso’s career: he executed a number of portraits of Fernande, as well as several landscapes, which are today widely recognised as the true beginnings of Cubism. Femme assise belongs to a series of canvases based on the features of Fernande Olivier, which revolutionised Picasso’s working methods and developed a radically new approach to the representation of form, thus clarifying his path towards Analytic Cubism.
Of all Pablo Picasso’s cubist painting, the “Femme Assise” which translated as the “Seated woman” was one of his most important piece, as it was a painting of his lover Fernande Olivier. The sale of Pablo Picasso’s “Femme Assise” was the most expensive in 2016 sold at Sotheby’s at a whooping $63.7 million. It marks the highest price of a cubist painting. Most of Picasso’s cubist works are in museums. The main reason for the value of this painting is that cubism defines an important development in art and paved the way for early 20th century modern art. Picasso developed cubism as an abstract art form. Subjects are given geometric shapes. As with all of Picasso’s groundbreaking master works, this painting is valued for introducing a new form of art.