The motif of one figure watching another figure sleeping recurs in Picasso’s art throughout his career. The female figures were often inspired by the women in his life at the time. One explanation for the persistence of this theme is the fact that Picasso worked at night and had ample opportunity to observe his lovers sleeping.
In 1934 Picasso began to collaborate with Roger Lacourière in the printer’s Paris workshop. The artist enjoyed a challenging relationship with Lacourière, who introduced him to the full potential of etching, engraving, drypoint, and aquatint.
Gallery label from Picasso: Variations and Themes, March 28–September 30, 2010.