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Double Vision

For Grades 9–12

© 2011 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Table of Contents

Featured Work
Activities and Additional Discussion
New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

Featured Work

Pablo Picasso
(Spanish, 1881–1973)
La Toilette, 1906
Oil on canvas
59 1/2 x 39 inches (151.1 x 99.1 cm)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Fellows for Life Fund, 1926
Background Information for Educators


  • Become familiar with Pablo Picasso
  • Explore opposites and contrasts in a work of art
  • Create a drawing using La Toilette as an example



  • Display Slide #3 from the AID PowerPoint and introduce Pablo Picasso to your students.
  • Display Slide #4. Compare and contrast the two female figures in La Toilette with your students. First, have them list any contrasts they notice in color and in painting style. Then, ask them to observe the figures as actual people and list any opposites that they notice or infer about what kind of personality each woman might have.

Contrasts of the painted image may include: light colors/dark colors, warm colors/cool colors, Greek influence/Egyptian influence, movement/still, cast shadows/ no cast shadows, raised forms that move upward/lowered forms that move downward, pink/blue, etc.

Opposites may include: naked/clothed, idealized/not idealized, raised arms/lowered arms, thoughtful and focused on self/helpful and focused on others, contemplative/active, vain/modest, etc.

  • Show the two works of art on Slide #5. How are these depictions of women the same? How are they different?
  • Show Slide #6, which displays Picasso’s painting next to the Roman sculpture and the Egyptian wall drawing. How are these depictions of women the same? How are they different?
  • Reveal that the same model was used for both female figures and was Picasso’s lover at the time, Fernande Olivier. Show Slide #7. Ask your students: How does this change your ideas about the painting? What was Picasso trying to show about Fernande? What type of person do you think he thought she was?


Have students draw or photograph themselves twice, using two to three (or more!) opposites from the discussion list.

Optional Additional Activity

  • Do the same drawing activity but using two different cultures as inspiration for two self-portraits. Perhaps your students can see themselves as American in one figure (apple pie, American flag, etc.) and include personal accessories relating to their family’s origins in the other.
  • Do the same drawing activity with two self-portraits in which they show their "public face" vs. their "private face" or personal likes and dislikes. 

Optional Additional Discussion

Debate which can show more about a person—a photograph or a painting.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts (Visual Arts, including the museum visit) 1, 2, 3, 4
  • New York State Learning Standard for Social Studies 2
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 3, 5
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 (New York only)
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 5


  • Audio for Younger Students

  • Audio for High School Students