• Property from the Collection o auction at Christies

    Sale 2410

    Property from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody

    4 May 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 18

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Buste de femme nue

    Price Realised  


    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Buste de femme nue
    signed 'Picasso' (lower left)
    pen and ink and rose wax crayon on card
    5 1/8 x 3½ in. (13 x 8.9 cm.)
    Drawn in 1902-1903

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    The classicizing profile of the figure in Buste de femme is one that Picasso explored repeatedly in 1902 and 1903, inspired in part by his study of the neo-classical masters Puvis de Chavannes and possibly Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (see lot 17). Yet the heavy, expressionist shading of the present drawing, particularly around the eyes, and the slightly androgynous cast of the figure's features lend the work an edge that is decidedly unclassical. Although the drawing was certainly made before Picasso left Barcelona for his definitive move to Paris in the spring of 1904, it is most closely comparable to works executed several months after his arrival in the French capital, as the Blue Period began to give way to the Rose Period. In particular, it seems to anticipate a sepia drawing from 1905 that depicts one of Picasso's mistresses at the Bateau-Lavoir, Alice Princet, who would later marry the painter André Derain (Zervos, vol. 1, no. 251; note the sharply pointed nose and chin, slight pout, attenuated neck, and heavy cross-hatching). John Richardson has written about Picasso's images of Alice:

    "Although she is the subject of a very few drawings, her Madonna-like looks left their mark on Picasso's work. He grafted her features onto those of Madeleine and Margot and came up with the image that characterizes the final phase of the Blue Period--a foretaste of how he would later juggle and integrate the physiognomies and identities of his various mistresses. During the next year or so he would also blur sexual characteristics. Alice's pout--her bouderie--which figures on the faces of many other girls, will look equally at home on the sulky faces of Rose Period youths. Hence increasing confusion as to the gender of Picasso's figures. This trend toward unisexuality ceases only when Fernande Olivier finally emerges in all her voluptuousness, an event that will not occur until the beginning of 1906" (A Life of Picasso, New York, 1996, vol. I, p. 307).

    Special Notice

    On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.


    Sebastià and Carles Junyer-Vidal, Barcelona.
    Acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, 23 August 1957.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please see the Special Payment Instructions for Brody Evening Sale Lots 1-28 which are printed in the Saleroom Notice for Lot 1 above.

    Please note the amended literature reference:
    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. XLV, no. 173 (illustrated, p. 81).

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody


    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. XLV, no. 173 (illustrated, p. 81).


    Los Angeles, UCLA Galleries, "Bonne Fête" Monsieur Picasso, from Southern California collectors, 1961, no. 60.
    San Diego, Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, Masters of Modern Spanish Art, January-March 1969, p. 3.