Born in Valencia in 1942, Manolo Valdés is one of the few artists working today who has successfully mastered the disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking. During the first part of his professional career he worked alongside fellow Spanish artist Rafael Solbes under the group name Equipo Crónica. Together the two Spaniards created highly graphic Pop-art related images, often politically charged, and derived or appropriated from Spanish art history and culture. After Solbes' death in 1981, Valdés continued in this tradition of appropriation, however, he soon dropped the political undertones and moved away from the flat, graphic style he had previously employed. Extracting figures from well-known works of art by old masters including Velázquez, Rembrandt, Rubens and Fra Angelico, as well as more contemporary masters including Matisse, Picasso and Lichtenstein, Valdés revitalised these familiar faces by removing them from their original context and presenting them in a more expressive and powerful perspective. Blowing up proportions, abstracting forms, minimalising details and incorporating roughly applied paints and unusual materials were all techniques that Valdés would come to explore.
The present work, dating from 2005, appears to draw its inspiration from Henri Matisse's famous Portrait of Madame Matisse or The Green Line from 1905.