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    Sale 12146

    Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper Sale

    17 November 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1008

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Visite à l'atelier

    Price Realised  


    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Visite à l'atelier
    signed 'Picasso' (upper right) and dated and numbered '17.1.54. IV' (lower right)
    brush and pen and black ink on paper
    9 3/8 x 11 ½ in. (24 x 31.8 cm.)
    Executed on 17 January 1954

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    Visite à l'atelier was executed by Picasso for Verve, the French art periodical founded by publisher Estafros Tériade in 1937. The magazine, a French quarterly review of arts and letters, was lavish in design and challenging in content, regularly featuring designs by well-known modern artists of the twentieth century. Thirty-eight issues were published in total between 1939 and 1960.
    In September 1954, Tériade published a double issue of Verve dedicated to Picasso and illustrating one hundred and eighty drawings by the master, the present work included, which were drawn in Vallauris that winter between 28 November 1953 and 3 February 1954. The rich publication reproduced each work in the exact size and chronological order of the original drawings, so as to preserve the integrity of the suite. Tériade remarked that this collection of drawings was Picasso's "finest, boldest, [and] most poignantly human of all he has produced in the course of his long and brilliant career" (E. Tériade, ed., op. cit., n.p.).
    At the time Picasso began this series in November 1953, Françoise Gilot had just deserted him, taking their two children with her and leaving him alone as an abandoned man. Deeply hurt, he shut himself away in his vacant villa in Vallauris and frantically produced the 180 drawings which represent “... the diary, not verbal but visual, of a detestable ‘season in hell,’ a crisis in his personal life which led him to question everything...” (ibid.).
    These works address the central theme of the painter and his model, of a man and a woman, of the subject and the object, handled in a style which is burlesque, comic, grotesque, even caricatured. Some ironically incorporate subjects linked to the world of the circus, the monkey, the acrobat, the clown.


    Galerie Louise Leiris (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris.
    Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York (acquired from the above, September 1955).
    Marlborough Gallery, Inc., New York (acquired from the above).
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1971.


    E. Tériade, ed., "Suite de 180 dessins de Picasso, 28 novembre 1953 au 3 février 1954," Verve, vol. VIII, nos. 29-30, fall 1954 (illustrated prior to signature).
    E. Tériade, M. Leiris, and R. West, intro., A Suite of 180 Drawings by Picasso, Picasso and the Human Comedy, New York, 1954 (illustrated prior to signature).
    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1965, vol. 16, no. 186 (illustrated, pl. 62).
    L. Boltin and W.S. Lieberman, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection, Masterpieces of Modern Art, New York, 1981, p. 113 (illustrated).


    New York, The Museum of Modern Art and The Art Institute of Chicago, Picasso, 75th Anniversary Exhibition, May-December 1957, p. 106 (illustrated).
    Philadelphia Museum of Art, Picasso, January-February 1958, p. 24, no. 239 (illustrated).
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Twentieth-Century Art from the Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Collection, May-September 1969, p. 135.
    London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., Moore, Picasso, Sutherland, Drawings, Watercolours, Gouaches, March-April 1970, p. 85, no. 39 (illustrated, p. 43).
    New York, Marlborough Gallery, Inc., Homage to Picasso for his 90th Birthday, October 1971, p. 78, no. 68 (illustrated).
    London, Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., XX Century Drawings and Watercolours, September-October 1974, p. 44, no. 104 (illustrated, p. 94).