Picasso, in my opinion, made a lot of truly awful paintings. (Yikes! Will be lynched?) But, I also feel that he made some real gems in the most inventive way perhaps not seen since the Cycladic art of the Greek islands 3000 years ago. And this was his greatness.
In this picture there is unity of both colour harmony, and drawing in very the 19th century French Romantic tradition. It has a weirdly plastic yet flat feeling about it. This paradox gives it a mystery, and a timeless quality. There is nothing conventional in it, no conformity, thank god. I believe that it is a portrait of Dora Maar.
And, above all I feel great humanity in it.
One day (if I were a curator, for instance)
I would make a whole show of full-sized portraits, imagine a room with this picture (above) next to Dr Gachet, next Mme Cézanne, next to a Titian, next to a Goya, next to a Modigliani, next to a Sargent, next to a Matisse, etc, etc...The most important question for a painter is this:
What do they all share, if they share anything at all?