PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)

Buste de femme couchée

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Buste de femme couchée
Conté crayon on vellum
19 x 25 1⁄4 in. (48.1 x 63.8 cm.)
Drawn circa 1939
Mary Callery, New York & Paris, by whom probably acquired from the artist.
Galerie Ile de France, Paris.
The Pace Gallery, New York, by whom acquired from the above in October 1973.
James Goodman Gallery, New York, by whom acquired from the above in October 1980.
Julian Schnabel, New York, by 1999.
PaceWildenstein, New York, on consignment from the above.
Private collection, New York, by whom acquired from the above in September 2009.
Private collection, New York; by whom acquired from the above in December 2009; sale, Phillips, New York, 15 May 2019, lot 149.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
New York, The Pace Gallery, Works on Paper, December 1974 - January 1975.
New York, The Drawing Center, Drawn from Artists' Collections, April - June 1999, p. 123; this exhibition later travelled to Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum of Art, July - September 1999.
Special notice

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.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Post lot text
Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work 

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Micol Flocchini
Micol Flocchini Head of Works on Paper Sale

Lot Essay

“Picasso is the painter of woman: goddess of antiquity, mother, praying mantis, blown-up balloon, weeper, hysteric, body curled in a ball or sprawled in sleep… no painter has ever gone so far unveiling the feminine universe in all the complexity of its real and fantasy life” (M.-L. Bernadac, ‘Picasso, 1953-1972: Painting as Model’, Late Picasso, exh. cat., Tate Gallery London, 1988, p. 80).

The drawing Femme en buste exemplifies the fascinating relationship which Pablo Picasso had with the female subject. Identifiable as a portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, and as one of Dora Maar at the same time, this almost abstract depiction of a female bust blurs the line of portraiture.
The work was drawn in circa 1939, at a time when Picasso was alternating between portrayals of his two lovers, Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar. Dora Maar became acquainted with Picasso during the fall of 1935, and less than a year later, she assumed the role of the artist's primary paramour. As such she supplanted Marie-Thérèse, Picasso's young mistress since 1927, who had given birth to their daughter Maya shortly before the artist met Dora. Picasso loved these two women in different ways and cleverly wielded their respective affections to draw inspiration for his portraits. Marie-Thérèse would remain his loyally nurturing and private muse. Dora, on the other hand, was a photographer and an artist in her own right. They could exchange on art and their creative process, something that was outside of Marie-Thérèse’s realm.

Picasso's subjection of the female body and visage to daring dislocations and increasingly drastic deformations, which was born from his interest in Surrealism from the mid-1920s to the late 1930s, was a fundamental driving force in his approach to figuration. With Europe on the brink of the Second World War, Picasso’s portraits showed ever more depredations of form. However, despite the attack on the integrity of the female form which Femme en buste depicts, the work also evokes a form of quiet domesticity and peace. There is a closeness to the approach with which the subject is rendered and roundness of the form together with the resting and embrace-like posture adds a sense of calm.

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