La Femme qui pleure [Weeping Woman] 1937
This is one of Picasso’s most iconic images. It was created as one of the main studies for a huge mural commissioned for the Spanish Pavilion of the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris. Picasso chose to focus on the horror of the bombing of the small Basque town of Guernica, bombed at General Franco’s request. Some 1700 people were killed or wounded. The study of a weeping woman, her mouth fixed in a silent scream of pain, is a motif to convey the plight of the Spanish people of the Basque region. Picasso experimented with the image of the weeping woman in several prints and, most famously, in a painting. This print was purchased directly from the artist by the English artist and collector Roland Penrose. It is inscribed ‘For Penrose.’

Glossary Open

Inscription

Text written on a book, document or artwork. Examples include the added information such as edition number and date on a print, or a dedication written in a book.

Motif

A distinctive element in a work of art or design.

Mural

An artwork or design attached or applied directly to a wall.

Spanish Civil War

A war in Spain that began following an uprising in Morocco in 1936. It was fought between the Republicans and the Nationalists, led by General Franco, who declared victory in 1939, and remained as head of state until his death in 1975. The bombing of the town of Guernica on 26 April 1937 was the subject of a major painting by Pablo Picasso.

Inscription, Motif, Mural, Spanish Civil War

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 4774
  • Medium Drypoint, aquatint and etching on paper, 7th state (5/15)
  • Size Plate: 69.20 x 49.50 cm; paper: 77.20 x 56.90 cm
  • Credit Accepted by H.M. Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax on the Estate of Joanna Drew and allocated by H.M. Government to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2005