Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Nu couché

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Nu couché
dated and inscribed 'Paris 6 F.XXXIV' (lower right)
brush and pen and India ink on paper
10¼ x 13 in. (26 x 33 cm.)
Executed in Paris on 6 February 1934
The artist's estate (no. 03697).
Maya Picasso, Paris, by descent from the above.
Paco Rebés, Barcelona, by whom acquired from the above by 1986.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. VIII, Oeuvres de 1932 à 1937, Paris, 1957, no. 178 (illustrated pl. 76).
The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, Surrealism, 1930-1936, San Francisco, 1997, no. 34-030 (illustrated p. 207).
Barcelona, Paco Rebés, Picasso, October 1986, no. 15 (illustrated).
Barcelona, Galerie A34, Picasso, March - April 2008, no. 14 (illustrated).
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

Lot Essay

This drawing is part of a series of nine pen and ink drawings of a woman reclining before an open window which Pablo Picasso executed between 6 and 10 February 1934 (Zervos VIII.171-180 & 182). Typical of Picasso's serial work, as one of the first drawings in the series it retains a certain realism to its forms; the series culminated over the next few days with Nu couch devant la fenetre and Intrieur aux hirondelles I (Zervos VIII.179 & VIII.175; Muse Picasso, Paris), in which the sensual forms and sexual organs depicted here find their final form in a Surreal nude, her head a plank and body composed of machine-like parts, reclining before the window at Picasso's country house at Boisgeloup.

The location of Boisgeloup and the bowl of fruit suggest the identity of the woman as Marie-Thrse Walter, Picasso's lover during this period towards the end of his marriage to Olga. The secluded house was the location of many of their trysts, and her presence in his work was often coded in a series of symbols such as fruit. 'The thirties are the most sexual period in Picasso's oeuvre, not only because he himself was in the grip of the greatest conceivable passion, but also that for the first time he had a lover who was considerably younger, a woman who was still maturing and gave Picasso the chance to observe the transition from girl to woman and from woman to mother, and to share the experience... the more the omnipresence and transcendence of the body had to be kept secret, the more blatant they became' (Pablo Picasso and Marie-Thrse Walter: Between Classicism and Surrealism, exh. cat., Graphik-Museum Pablo Picasso, Mnster, 2004, pp. 39-40).

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