Dora Maar was Picasso's mistress from 1936 until 1944. In the course of their relationship, Picasso painted her in a number of guises, some realistic, some benign, others tortured or threatening. "For me she's the weeping woman," he explained. "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's important, because women are suffering machines."