Portrait of Suzanne Bloch
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This Debbie downer is Suzanne Bloch, and while you may gather from her steely demeanor that she was a bit of a wet blanket, it was actually the charismatic Picasso that was projecting his inner demons here.

Suzanne was a famous opera singer and was introduced to Picasso by mutual friend and poet Max Jacob. While I am pretty sure the idea of working with the infamous Picasso would make any woman’s heart flutter (Picasso had quite a way with the ladies), Don Pablo was not quite his enigmatic self when Suzanne sat for this portrait.  

Many consider this piece to be the last painting Picasso made while in his “blue period.” This artistic period lasted from 1901 to 1904 and, as you might have expected from the name, this was a time in the artist’s life that was filled with sorrow. Shortly after learning that one of his friends shot himself in the head at a café in Paris, Picasso denounced his life as a socialite and sunk into a deep depression, where he lived with the tortures of an unhealthy mind. Luckily, after a few years, Picasso was able to drag himself out of the depths and catapulted himself into the next epoch of his artistic career, his joyful rose period! Huzzah.

On December 20, 2007, poor Suzanne was hijacked from the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, along with another painting. The stolen booty was estimated at $55 million, and with the heist only taking three minutes of the criminals’ time, we’re getting some bad ideas. $55 million for three minutes of work?? I may need to consider switching professions…

But alas, the men didn’t become millionaires, for the Sao Paulo police recovered the works a few weeks later, undamaged. So that gives us two reasons to rejoice; we can yet again bask in the beauty of this painting, and we can gain some perspective and realize that our jobs aren’t really as depressing as Picasso’s blue period.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Portrait of Suzanne Bloch

Portrait of Suzanne Bloch is a painting executed by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso in Paris in 1904, towards the end of his blue period. The subject, Suzanne Bloch, was a singer known for her Wagner interpretations, and the sister of the violinist Henri Bloch.

Suzanne Bloch

A luminary in the Parisian sets frequented by Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century, Suzanne Bloch was a Wagnerian singer and the sister of the violinist Henri Bloch. She was introduced to the Spanish artist by the French poet Max Jacob, in 1904, and she sat for a portrait by Picasso in his Le Bateau-Lavoir studio at 13 rue Ravignan in Paris, between the late spring and early summer of that year. A pen and ink sketch heightened with gouache, and signed and dated by Picasso, preceded the oil painting; it is now conserved at the Neubury Coray collection, in Ascona, Switzerland.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Portrait of Suzanne Bloch.