The painting is a fine example of Picasso's Blue Period, both capturing the colour scheme and sombre emotions found in his work during this time.
As the woman crosses her arms and looks blankly into the distance, Picasso dominates the scene with shades of blue to underline this mood.
The viewer is left to wonder about what reasons the model has for her negativity, but there are no real clues to be found in this artwork.
Typical of Picasso's paintings in recent sales, Femme aux Bras Croises achieved a considerable price, amongst the highest ever for an artwork when it went up for public auction.
The sale was completed in 2000 for $55m and the new owner purchased the piece anonymously from the McCormick family, having previously been owned by Gertrude Stein.
The subject in this painting is believed to be an inmate of the Saint-Lazare hospital-prison in Paris, although this has never been confirmed.
This represents a departure from the norm for Picasso who would typically use his latest lover to model for his work.