The Weeping Woman captured in this bright portrait is Dora Maar, a photographer who regularly modelled for Picasso.
They also had an illicit affair over many years.
Their affair lasted from 1936 until 1944. Picasso found her to be a versatile model for his work, capturing her in all manner of different poses and moods. Picasso explained:
For me she's the weeping woman. For years I've painted her in tortured forms, not through sadism, and not with pleasure, either; just obeying a vision that forced itself on me. It was the deep reality, not the superficial one...
Dora, for me, was always a weeping woman....And it's important, because women are suffering machines.
Picasso explained several times that he felt inspiration to paint torment in the form of this woman.
It is likely that some of this symbolises the pain of war, in a similar way to his Guernica artwork.
This topic was very personal to Picasso and he allowed Dora Maar to photograph his large Guernica artwork whilst it was being put together.
That painting captures the horror of war and also teaches us of the dangers of fascism which were very real at that time.
The artist did not see at first hand of the horror of Germany's bombing of Guernica in support of Spanish Fascist leader, Franco in the Spanish civil war, 1937.
It was newspaper cuttings which proved enough to shock him into artistic action.
This ugly, divisive civil war impacted Pablo through his family who would regularly inform him of their troubles.
His response was to protest through his art, making use of the international audience which he had built up in the preceding years of his career.
Picasso would communicate his concerns through the image of a woman crying, without directly capturing the war in this artwork.
The symbolism was clear to most, though, and continued a successful series of powerful, expressive work.
Within the Guernica mural there is a weeping woman holding her dead child. After creating this huge artwork, Picasso produced countless spin-off paintings which extended the 'life' of this intriguing character.
This specific painting was the last in the series and brought this important spell in his career to an end.
Mater Dolorosa, the weeping Virgin, can be found across much Spanish art and Picasso here uses it for his own symbolic purposes. Sculptures of her are common, with Pablo's own father producing one in his younger years.
Whilst borrowing this traditional theme, Picasso's model Dora Maar was ideal for this assignment. Their close bond seemed to inspire his work and lift this artwork to become one of his most respected.
The original painting is now stored at the Tate Gallery in London, UK. Other items from this series are scattered around the world in various institutions and private collections.