PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
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PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)


PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
signed and dated 'Picasso 4. Avril.. 72.' (lower right)
colored wax crayon and green ballpoint pen on paper
21 5/8 x 16 3/8 in. (54.8 x 41.7 cm.)
Executed on 4 April 1972
Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (probably acquired from the artist, 1972).
Galleria DueCi, Rome.
Anon. (acquired from the above, circa 1990); sale, Sotheby's, London, 25 October 2000, lot 59.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 5 February 2004, lot 417.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
C. Zervos, Picasso, Paris, 1968, vol. 33, no. 335 (illustrated, pl. 120).
M. Imdahl, Picassos Guernica, Frankfurt, 1985, p. 42 (illustrated, fig. 8).
D. Widmaier-Picasso, Picasso: "Art Can Only Be Erotic," Munich, 2005, p. 141 (illustrated in color, p. 128; titled Clinch and with incorrect medium).
Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso, November 1971-August 1972, p. 27, no. 33 (illustrated in color).

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Lot Essay

Drawn on 4 April 1972, Etreinte was one of the last of the drawings included in an exhibition held at the Galerie Louise Leiris from November 1971-August 1972. Roland Penrose visited the exhibition and was struck by the vigor and draftsmanship on display, writing to the artist afterwards to say: “I spoke with Heini and Zette and we all agree that these are probably the most beautiful drawings you have ever made” (Penrose, quoted in E. Cowling, Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose, London, 2006, p. 340). Penrose himself purchased one of the most striking works on display, a self-portrait head that has since been seen, with its skull-like quality, as a presentiment of mortality on the part of the artist. By contrast, Etreinte, unabashedly erotic, shows the incredible sense of pulsing life that still charged his imagination. In Paris Match, the exhibition received a favorable review which reflected the quality of pictures such as this drawing: “Nothing of the slippery exoticism that would reveal any sign of senility. The current exhibition turns spotlights on a Goyesque world and presents the phantasms of his creator: colossal girls of purchasable erotic allure, depraved gnomes, aristocrats who display the arrogant noble posturing of old warriors on conquered territory in houses of pleasure. At ninety-one, Picasso continues to reinvent Picasso” (“Picasso version 1972” in Paris Match, 27 January 1973, reproduced in W. Spies, ed., Picasso: Painting against Time, exh. cat., Albertina, Vienna, 2006, p. 296).

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