During the 1960s, Picasso painted numerous variations of the artist and model theme. The subject first appeared in a 1914 painting; in 1926 Picasso painted a large painting in grisaille in which the figures of the artist and his model are united in a tangle of lines; in the 1930s the theme shifted to that of the sculptor's studio and in the 1960s, in particular from 1963 to 1964, he painted almost nothing else.
Marie-Laure Bernadac noted: "It is characteristic of Picasso, in contrast to Matisse and many other twentieth-century painters, that he takes as his model--or as his Muse--the woman he loves and who lives with him, not a professional model. So what his paintings shows is never a 'model' of a woman, but woman as model. That has its consequences for his emotional as well as his artistic life; for the beloved woman stands for 'painting': detachment is an impossibility. Picasso never paints from life: Jacqueline never poses for him: but she is there always, everywhere. All the women of these years are Jacqueline, and yet they are rarely portrait" (M.-L. Bernadac, Late Picasso, London, 1988, p. 78).