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    Sale 2044

    Prints and Multiples

    28 - 29 October 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 248


    La femme au tambourin (B. 310; Ba. 646)

    Price Realised  


    La femme au tambourin (B. 310; Ba. 646)
    etching and aquatint, 1938/39, on Arches, an extremely rich impression, signed in pencil, numbered 23/30, published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, with full margins, the palest light- and time staining, a few soft creases, remains of old hinges at the reverse of the upper sheet corners, pale pinpoint foxing at the reverse of the sheet edges, otherwise in very good condition, framed
    P. 26 1/8 x 20 1/8 in. (664 x 511 mm.)
    S. 30 x 22¼ in. (762 x 565 mm.)

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    La Femme au Tambourin undoubtedly validates the statement that Picasso was indeed the greatest printmaker of the twentieth century. The artist brings an atmospheric quality to the work through a powerful use of tone and contrast, with the potency of line lending itself to the strengths of the medium. Picasso presents us with a full length figure, in an intense contrapposto, that personifies grace and balance while maintaining a sense of monumental grandeur.

    Based on compositions by Degas and Poussin, Picasso's dancing figure is thought to personify Dora Maar, his lover at the time. The figure exudes confidence and independence, characteristics that Picasso admired in Maar, while upholding the sense of exhilaration that this woman may have brought into the life of the artist. At the same time, on the cusp of World War II, the intense darkness that surrounds the figure suggests an untimely end to the excitement of this period.

    As one of Picasso's greatest graphic works, La Femme au Tambourin not only allows us a glimpse into the personal life of the greatest modern artist but captures the spirit of a pivotal time in world history.

    For a note regarding the provenance of this lot, please refer to lot 232.


    Given to Mary Callery by the artist, then by descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text