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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Property from an Important European Collection
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Dessin (Carnet Dinard 1044, Page 2, Baigneuse, projet pour un monument)

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Dessin (Carnet Dinard 1044, Page 2, Baigneuse, projet pour un monument)
dated '28 juillet 1928' (lower right)
pen and India ink on paper
14 ¾ x 11 ¾ in. (37.4 x 30 cm.)
Drawn in Dinard, 28 July 1928
Estate of the artist.
Marina Picasso, Paris (by descent from the above).
Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva (acquired from the above).
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 15 May 2001.
C. Zervos, "Projets de Picasso pour un monument" in Cahiers d'Art, 1929, nos. 8-9, p. 349 (illustrated).
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1955, vol. 7, no. 201 (illustrated, pl. 77; with incorrect dimensions).
A. and M. Glimcher, Je suis le cahier: The Sketchbooks of Picasso, exh. cat., The Pace Gallery, New York, 1986, p. 327, no. 96 (illustrated; with inverted dimensions).
M. Tabart, González-Picasso: Dialogue, exh. cat., Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1999, p. 107 (illustrated).
B. Léal, C. Piot and M.-L. Bernadac, The Ultimate Picasso, New York, 2000, p. 515, no. 582 (illustrated, p. 242; titled Sketchbook Page, dated 29 July 1928 and with incorrect medium).
C.-P. Warncke and I.F. Walther, Pablo Picasso, New York, 2006, vol. 1, p. 327 (illustrated, p. 326; with incorrect cataloguing).
J. Palau i Fabre, Picasso: From the Minotaur to Guernica (1927-1939), Barcelona, 2011, pp. 54-55 and 430, no. 119 (illustrated, p. 54; titled Figure, dated 27 July-November 1928 and with incorrect medium).
Munich, Haus der Kunst; Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle & Museum Ludwig; Frankfurt, 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. 317, no. 149 (illustrated, p. 125, no. 36; illustrated again, p. 142, no. 2; under Carnet 1044).
Venice, Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Picasso: Opere dal 1895 al 1971 dalla collezione Marina Picasso, May-July 1981, p. 295 (illustrated, p. 296; under Carnet 1044, no. 2).
Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art and Kyoto, Municipal Museum, Picasso: Masterpieces from Marina Picasso Collection and from Museums in U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., April-July 1983, p. 253, no. 117 (illustrated, p. 254; under Sketchbook 1044).
Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria and Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Picasso: Works from the Marina Picasso Collection in Collaboration with Galerie Jan Krugier, July-December 1984, p. 199 (illustrated; under Sketchbook 1044, no. 3: Surrealist figures).
New York, William Beadleston, Inc., Through the Eye of Picasso, 1928-1934: The Dinard Sketchbook and Related Paintings and Sculpture, October-December 1985 (illustrated, pl. 2; under Sketchbook 1044-Figures surréalistes).
Tübingen, Kunsthalle and Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordhein-Westfalen, Pablo Picasso, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Pastelle, April-July 1986, p. 279, no. 123 (illustrated).
Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, Picassos Surrealismus, Werke 1925-1937, September-December 1991, pp. 308-309, no. 16.
London, Tate Gallery, Picasso: Sculptor/Painter, February-May 1994, p. 265, no. 64 (illustrated, p. 84; under Sketchbook 1044, page 2).
Duisburg, Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum and Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Pablo Picasso, Wege zur Skulptur. Die Carnets Paris und Dinard von 1928, January-August 1995, p. 23, fig. 36 (illustrated; illustrated again; titled Carnet Dinard).
Dinard, Palais des Arts, Picasso à Dinard, June-September 1999, p. 165, no. 44 (illustrated, p. 167).

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Jessica Fertig
Jessica Fertig

Lot Essay

The shaded, volumetric drawings of bathers that Picasso created while on his annual seaside holidays during two successive summers—1927 in Cannes and 1928 in Dinard (Brittany)—are among the most formally inventive and exquisitely rendered works on paper of his entire career. Both series of drawings were done in same-sized carnets, and in their treatment of form display a sculptural, plastic impetus. There are two Carnets Cannes, both of which are in the Musée Picasso, Paris (Carnets, vol. 2; cat. nos. 35 and 36; Glimscher, nos. 94 and 95). The present drawing is from the Carnet Dinard, which was bequeathed to Marina Picasso, the daughter of Picasso’s son Paulo. The sheets were subsequently separated and dispersed.
The shapely figure of Marie-Thérèse Walter, the blond teenager who in early 1927 became Picasso’s mistress, inspired both series of bather carnets; she was not present, however, in Cannes during 1928, nor in Dinard the following summer, until the artist had already filled the first twenty of the sixty pages in that carnet.
After installing his wife Olga and Paulo in Cannes in mid-July 1927, Picasso hurried back to Paris to tryst secretly with Marie-Thérèse. He was more obsessed with her than ever when he returned to Cannes and began to fill the pair of sketchbooks with drawings of nude bathers. Picasso’s fantasies of “Marie-Thérèse’s pumped up body,” as John Richardson described them, assumed “the guise of his own engorged penis” (A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932, New York, 2007, vol. III, p. 339). These drawn studies and related paintings display a radical re-imagining of the female body, represented in bizarrely surreal yet surprisingly sensual, abstractly reconfigured forms.
Picasso chose Dinard for his summer holiday in 1928, mainly because he could arrange to have his girlfriend stay in a nearby pension de jeune filles, a place where she and Olga would never cross paths; she would be protected, moreover, from the attention of roving young men when the artist needed to attend to his wife and son. Richardson believed that Picasso also rented a room where they could be alone together and he could attend to his work. Picasso arrived with his family in Dinard during mid-July; Marie-Thérèse was still in Paris when on the 27th the artist began drawing in the new carnet—the present drawing, on page 2, is dated the 28th.
“Unlike the femmes-phalluses in the Cannes drawings, which appear to be made of erectile tissue,” Richardson wrote, “the matière of the Dinard ones is less highly charged: driftwood, pebbles and bones that have been smoothed by the sea. ‘Pebbles are so beautiful,’ Picasso told Brassaï… ‘the sea has already done it so well, giving them forms so pure that all is needed is a lick of the finger to make them into works of art’” (ibid., p. 357). John Golding marveled at the way in which the object-forms had been “propped and piled onto each other in arrangements that are precarious and yet have a quality of static balance reminiscent of ancient dolmens” (quoted in exh. cat., op. cit., 1985, n.p.).
In the pair of Cannes carnets, Picasso alternated his drawing media between pen with ink and graphite pencil, the latter producing subtly modulated shading. In the Dinard carnet, however, the artist drew in pen and India ink nearly throughout; only the final two pages were executed in graphite pencil. Picasso was unerring in his rendering of dramatic, densely cross-hatched chiaroscuro to define the forms in his Marie-Thérèse figures. Each page was a tight-rope walk, there could be no false step—neither correction nor retouching was possible. The Dinard bather drawings perhaps constitute an even more astonishing feat, indeed a tour de force, of superbly assured draughtsmanship than in the sublime Cannes books of studies.
The present baigneuse stands out among the other seven full-sheet studies on the first ten pages of the Carnet Dinard as one of only two that depict a single figure. This drawing moreover incorporates the fewest component elements of any work on these pages, five only: two boomerang-like shapes for limbs, a tapered spindle as the bather’s body—also providing an axis for the figural architecture overall—with the spherical additions of Marie-Thérèse’s head and beach-ball.
A supplementary inspiration for the Dinard figures, as Richardson pointed out, was the summer weekend festivities in town, “a beauty pageant of girls in bathing suits vying to be ‘Miss France’.” After Marie-Thérèse’s arrival on 5 August, “Picasso no longer needed to conceptualize her” (ibid., pp. 359 and 360). Later drawings in the carnet show Marie-Thérèse and her pension house-mates playing with balls on the beach, an activity the artist depicted in paintings that summer as well. Picasso repeated the clever, successful exercise of vacationing with both his family and his young mistress in Dinard during the summer of 1929.
The sculptural aspect of the Cannes and Dinard drawings is related Picasso’s efforts during 1927-1928 to produce a maquette for a memorial to mark the grave in the Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris, of the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, the artist’s close friend, who had died in the 1918 influenza epidemic. From studies in the two Carnet Cannes, Picasso modeled the Dionysian forms of a bather sculpture, Metamorphose I (Spies, no. 67; Musée Picasso, Paris). Shocked at the surreal eroticism that the artist had evoked for their serious, commemorative purpose, the friends of Apollinaire committee rejected the maquette. The iron, wire, and sheet metal sculpture Figure, which Picasso produced in 1928 from point-and-line drawings, pages 13-20 in the Carnet Dinard, met the same fate. The matter of the Apollinaire monument became frustratingly protracted and was not resolved until 1959, when the committee accepted Picasso’s offer of a large bronze head he had created of Dora Maar in 1941 (Spies, no. 197).

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