About The Women of Algiers (Les Femmes d'Alger) Version 'O' 1955 Pablo Picasso Mastepiece Painting Les femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) depicted Algerian concubines in their harem with a hookah used to smoke hashish or opium. The series based on the Delacroix ‘femmes’ Picasso painted during 1954–55 consisted of 14 other paintings of which this, Version “O” is the acknowledged masterpiece, joining Les demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937) on the undoubted peaks of Picasso’s oeuvre. After Delacroix’ death in 1874, the painting was moved to the Louvre, which is where Picasso would visit it. Les femmes d’Alger is a phenomenon - the vast canvas is packed with references to Cubism, fractured or flat perspectives, violent colour clashes and the brilliant syntheses of Picasso’s lifelong obsessions, all referenced together as a savage response to the Delacroix work and echoing Matisse in a maelstrom of colour and shattered and flattened perspectives. In the process, Picasso created a new style of painting. Version ‘O’ set a record auction price of $179.4 million in 2015, making it the most expensive work to sell at auction at the time.