Roy Lichtenstein created Woman with Flowered Hat in 1963. The work is based on a Pablo Picasso portrait of Dora Maar. In May 2013, it sold for a record
price for a Lichtenstein work.
Dora had been one of the protagonists of the Surrealist movement before she met Pablo Picasso; their first legendary encounter supposedly occurred when Picasso spotted her in a café playing with a knife, which she was stabbing through the gaps in her splayed fingers, occasionally missing, cutting her gloves and drawing her own blood. This dark side to her character fascinated Picasso and stood in stark contrast to the wholesome youth and femininity of his then lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, mother of his daughter Maya. The pair happened to meet again while holidaying in Mougins and Dora displaced Marie-Thérèse as Picasso's mistress shortly after. The two women were complete opposites. Marie-Thérèse was the incarnation of peace and innocence with her fair hair, athletic looks and submissive nature, while the raven haired Dora had a hard, haughty beauty and a mysterious and complex personality. She became Picasso's Weeping Woman whose lovely features he habitually converted into a mask of sorrow.
Woman with Flowered Hat is a wry Pop assault on one of Roy Lichtenstein's most venerated artistic predecessors. In this painting, the primary hues of his faux-print technique meets the distorted features of a Picasso portrait, creating an artful and meticulous collision between two trademark styles.