Jean Dubuffet

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A Widow

Dubuffet, Jean

Last Updated: Aug-15-2006
Annotated by:
Bertman, Sandra

Primary Category: Visual Arts / Painting/Drawing

Genre: Oil on canvas


An abstract rendering of a widow fills the frame of the painting. Gloriously and erratically colored, she sits confidently upon a chair and looks directly outwards at the viewer. Behind the suggestion of a veil--the vertical lines descending from her head might also be interpreted as hair--she cocks her head and holds an expression upon her face that is difficult to discern. Is she sad? Is she bored? Does she desire a new companion?

Dubuffet has accentuated the widow's most feminine attributes: her breasts, hips, and eyes are exaggeratedly large, while her waist is too small, as though confined by the most constricting of corsets. The bright colors of the painting suggest anything but sorrow; instead, like a beautiful bird that attracts a mate with its colorful plumage, this widow seems ready to begin a new affair.

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