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

Verre, pipe et carte à jouer (Nature morte à l'as de trèfle)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Verre, pipe et carte à jouer (Nature morte à l'as de trèfle)
pencil on paper
12 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (32 x 23.1 cm.)
drawn in 1914
Estate of the artist.
Marina Picasso (by descent from the above).
Jan Krugier, acquired from the above.
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1975, vol. 29, no. 31 (illustrated, pl. 14).
Munich, Haus der Kunst; Cologne,
Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Museum Ludwig; Frankfurt am Main, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut and Kunsthaus Zürich, Pablo Picasso: Eine Ausstellung zum hundertsten Geburtstag, Werke aus der Sammlung Marina Picasso, February 1981-March 1982, p. 274, no. 94 (illustrated).
Venice, Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Picasso: Opere dal 1895 al 1971 dalla Collezione Marina Picasso, May-July 1981, p. 239, no. 110 (illustrated).
Tokyo, The National Gallery of Modern Art and Kyoto Municipal Museum, Picasso: Masterpieces from Marina Picasso Collection and from Museums in USA and USSR, April-July 1983, p. 218, no. 79.
Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, Picasso the Draughtsman: 103 Works from the Marina Picasso Collection, September-November 1993, no. 28.

Lot Essay

The year in which Verre, pipe et carte à jouer (Nature morte à l'as de trèfle) was executed marked an unusually difficult time in Picasso's life; Europe was embroiled in war, his friends Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and André Derain had been mobilized, and Guillaume Apollinaire had volunteered for service. Picasso's foreign status and his strong ties to the German patrons Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and Heinrich Thannhauser made him an object of mistrust in Paris. Moreover, his mistress Eva, much celebrated in many of his cubist paintings, gradually succumbed to illness and died in December of 1915.

By 1912 Braque and Picasso reached the outer limits of non-figuration; Cubism was in its most hermetic phase. In the fall of 1912 both artists began to experiment with papier collés (fig. 1). Braque produced the first work of this kind and combined collage in his drawings; however, Picasso proved to be the bolder innovator and soon began to incorporate these new techniques. Papier collé was instrumental in the development of late Cubist painting in that it helped to inject new realism and encouraged the artists to flatten and simplify space. The influence of papier collé is apparent in the present drawing, the sharply drawn upturned card recalling the novel form and capturing its playful spirit.

Picasso's independence at this juncture proved momentous. Indeed, Max Jacob wrote to Kahnweiler to describe the whereabouts of various friends, saying, "our friend Braque is a sergeant at Le Havre... Our friend Picasso is living at 14, rue Saint-Bernard and people say he's doing the most beautiful things he's ever done" (quoted in W. Rubin, Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989, p. 432). The old vanguard of Cubism had dissipated, and the field was left open for Picasso to develop in new directions; when his friends returned from the War, they would themselves adopt their own new styles. As Picasso later told Kahnweiler: "When mobilisation was decreed in August 1914, I accompanied Braque and Derain to the railway station at Avignon. We have never found each other again" (quoted in D.H. Kahnweiler, Juan Gris: His Life and Work, trans. D. Cooper, London, 1969, p. 166).

(fig. 1) Pablo Picasso, Pipe et verre, 1914. Estate of the artist.

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