This painting depicts the abstract form of a woman sitting in a chair with her head, shown in profile and tilted upward. There is a stringed instrument in her lap and her hands rest on the arms of the chair. It is painted in muted colors of aqua and lavender with brighter areas of yellow, orange and blue. The figure, chair and instrument are created with just a few black lines to suggest their forms.
The painting is an abstract rendering of a woman seated in a chair, playing a mandolin. Picasso has emphasized the theme by including several musical symbols. The subject is Marie Therese Walter, Picasso’s lover at the time.
Ewer decorated floral scrolls in fine blue-and-white and a slim handle. The original spout broke off and a silver replacement and lid are later additions.
The shape of this ewer looks back to metalwork models of the Sassanian Empire (based in modern Iran) that were first imported to China in the seventh century. The floral scrolls have their origin in ancient West Asian art, as seen on architecture and carpet.