Battle of the Amazons (1937)
Gelatin silver print
This rare print by Raoul Ubac is part of a series that features Penthesilea, the mythic Amazonian queen. To represent the queen and her consort, Ubac took several photographs of his wife, Agathe, and a friend. He also made close-up images of Agathe’s hair, as well as sticks and other props. He then combined these components into one elaborate image. The final grouping recalls the sculptural qualities of Greek carving. A surrealist, Ubac sought to tap into subconscious symbols relating to fantasy and sexual desire.
"The Weeping Woman series is regarded as a thematic continuation of the tragedy depicted in Picasso's epic painting Guernica. In focusing on the image of a woman crying, the artist was no longer painting the effects of the Spanish Civil War directly, but rather referring to a singular universal image of suffering."
Portrait of Dora “Weeping Woman” became a symbol of grief, pain and suffering. Everything in the painting is subordinated to this idea. Pablo always portrayed Dora with huge eyes, sad, pensive or weeping. He emphasized her delicate nervous system, clean face and long red nails. Dora Maar was Picasso's mistress from 1936 until 1944. In the course of their relationship, Picasso painted her in a number of guises, some realistic, some benign, others tortured or threatening. Picasso explained:
"For me she's the weeping woman. For years I've painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one."
"Dora, for me, was always a weeping woman....And it's important, because women are suffering machines"