• 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 17

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Femme nue au panier de fruit

    Price Realised  

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Femme nue au panier de fruit
    signed 'Picasso' (upper left)
    pen and ink and colored wax crayons on card
    5 1/8 x 3½ in. (13 x 8.9 cm.)
    Drawn in 1902-1903


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    The present drawing depicts a seated nude woman, viewed in strict profile, with the sharply delineated, classicizing features of Greco-Roman statuary (a crisp brow, straight nose, small mouth, and clean jaw). She holds in both hands a large bowl of apples, the rim of which is decorated with a meander pattern popular on ancient Greek vases. The figure's expression is neutral and poised, her hair is gathered in a simple chignon at the base of the neck, and her seat is a plain, unadorned cube. The style of the drawing is taut and linear, anticipating the classicizing, Ingres-like portraits of Olga Khokhlova, among others, that Picasso would make in the years immediately following the First World War. The same stylized profile appears in several other drawings that Picasso made in 1902 and 1903, including preparatory studies for the Blue Period masterpieces, Les deux soeurs and La Vie (Daix nos. A.14 and D.IX.10, respectively; for additional examples, see Zervos, vol. 1, no. 195; vol. 6, nos. 434 and 531).

    Picasso's exploration of this rigorously idealized facial type may reflect his interest during this period in neo-classical masters such as Puvis de Chavannes and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Picasso was first introduced to the work of Puvis in the late 1890s by the Catalan painter Santiago Rusiñol and is known to have copied at least two scenes from Puvis's frescoes in the Panthéon in 1902 (see Lots 15 and 20). Richard Wattenmaker has declared, "Puvis de Chavannes was surely one of the major--not minor--determinants of Picasso's Blue Period work. Picasso, ambitious as he was intelligent, with a knowledge of the old masters from the Prado and frescoes from Catalonia firmly in mind, found Puvis perhaps simpler to integrate than other of his contemporaries, and he did so with a skill and ease, even a virtuosity, which was always the hallmark of his art" (Puvis de Chavannes and the Modern Tradition, exh. cat., Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1975, pp. 168 and 177).

    Although Ingres is not usually cited as an important influence on Picasso until 1905, when a retrospective of his work was mounted at the Salon d'Automne, it is likely that Picasso's interest in Ingres pre-dates this exhibition. A comic strip that Picasso drew to document his journey to Paris with Sebastià Junyer Vidal in April 1904 includes a sketch of the duo at Montauban, Ingres's hometown (Z., vol. 6, no. 487; Museu Picasso, Barcelona). The most likely explanation for this stop, which would have required changing trains at Toulouse, is that they visited the Musée Ingres there. Fernande Olivier, who shared Picasso's life from 1904 to 1912, recalled that the artist's favorite paintings at the Louvre were those of El Greco, Goya, and above all Ingres, and it may well be that Picasso had admired Ingres's work during his early trips to Paris as well (Picasso et ses amis, Paris, 1933, p. 182).

    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.


    Provenance

    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.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody


    Literature

    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. XLIV, no. 146 (illustrated, p. 70).


    Exhibited

    Los Angeles, UCLA Galleries, "Bonne Fête" Monsieur Picasso, from Southern California collectors, 1961, no. 55.
    San Diego, Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, Masters of Modern Spanish Art, January-March 1969.