In 1943 Picasso met Françoise Gilot, a young aspiring painter; she moved in with him in 1946. This was an optimistic time of renewal in France, after the end of World War II, and the couple's early years together, spent mostly in the South of France, seem to have been idyllic. The couple separated in 1953. Gilot returned to Paris with their two children, who were born in 1947 and 1948.
Here Picasso employs some of Henri Matisse's signature devices, composing simply in lines and flat shapes. Picasso and Matisse renewed their friendship around this time, as both were in the South of France. Françoise Gilot and Matisse were also fond of each other.
Gallery label from Picasso: Variations and Themes, March 28–September 30, 2010.