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    Sale 1995

    Impressionist And Modern Art Day Sale

    7 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 424

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Maisons à Vallauris

    Price Realised  

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Maisons à Vallauris
    signed and dated 'Picasso 25 Juin 53' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    19½ x 24 in. (49.6 x 61 cm.)
    Painted in Vallauris, 25 June 1953


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    Picasso met Georges Ramié, the director of the Madoura pottery in Vallauris, during the summer of 1946. In August of the following year Picasso began to make pottery and ceramics with Ramié, creating almost two thousand works during the first year. Picasso single-handedly revived the pottery industry in Vallauris, which had fallen on hard times after the Second World War. The townspeople in their gratitude made Picasso an honorary citizen of Vallauris in February 1950.

    Picasso's involvement with the Madoura pottery encouraged him to make his home nearby, and during the summer of 1948 the artist, Françoise Gilot and their year-old son Claude moved into a small pink villa, known as "La Galloise," nestled in the hills overlooking the town. Their daughter Paloma was born in 1949. This settled, domestic existence, combined with congenial working conditions, appears to have inspired in the artist a rare sense of place, for Picasso increasingly painted landscapes showing his home and its environs. He had treated the landscape theme only sporadically since his cubist period, except as a backdrop for his figure subjects.

    Maison à Vallauris is one of thirteen variations on the theme of house and tree in a landscape that Picasso painted over a period of several weeks in June 1953. The works vary in canvas size and in their complexity; some are highly stylized compositions, others were done in a more simplistic, almost primitive manner of which the present painting is an example.

    In 1963, the renowned dealer Justin K. Thannhauser, bequeathed 73 works of art from his private collection to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Works by Picasso comprised almost half of the bequest. Thannhauser was a lifelong friend and admirer of the artist; his father, Heinrich, gave Picasso his first major retrospective exhibition at the Galerie Thannhauser, Munich in 1913. The present painting was de-accessioned by the Museum in 1981 and sold at auction later that year.

    Provenance

    Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (acquired from the artist, 1953).
    Curt Valentin Gallery, New York (by 1953).
    Justin K. Thannhauser, New York (by 1972).
    The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (gift from the above, 1978); sale, Sotheby's, New York, 21 May 1981, lot 560.
    Waddington Galleries, Ltd., London.


    Literature

    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1965, vol. 15, no. 284 (illustrated, pl. 156).
    K. Gallwitz, Picasso at 90: The Late Work, New York, 1971, p. 67 (illustrated, pl. 75).
    The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, ed., A Picture Book of 19th and 20th Century Masterpieces from the Thannhauser Foundation, New York, 1972, p. 76 (illustrated in color).
    V.E. Barnett, The Guggenheim Museum: Justin K. Thannhauser Collection, New York, 1978, no. 65, pp. 176-177 (illustrated in color).
    The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: The Fifties I 1950-1955, San Francisco, 2000, p. 125, no. 53-049 (illustrated).


    Exhibited

    New York, Curt Valentin Gallery, Pablo Picasso 1950-1953, 1953, no. 23.