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

Bourrache à la tête de femme

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
Bourrache à la tête de femme
dated '6.8.51.' (below the handle) and stamped 'MADOURA PLEIN FEU' (on the underside)
white earthenware ceramic pitcher with colored englobe and glaze
Height: 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm.)
Executed on 6 August 1951; unique
Marina Picasso, Geneva (grand-daughter of the artist); sale, Sotheby's, London, 19 October 1988, lot 38.
Takashimaya Department Store, Tokyo (by May 1989).
Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1990.
Miami, Center for the Fine Arts Association, Picasso At Work At Home: Selections From the Marina Picasso Collection, New York, November 1985-March 1986, p. 113, no. 109 (illustrated in color).
Tokyo, Takashimaya Department Store, Pablo Picasso Ceramic Art Exhibition, May 1989, no. 7 (illustrated in color).
Post lot text
Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Lot Essay

In August 1946, while on holiday with Françoise Gilot at Golfe-Juan, Picasso visited an exhibition of local crafts at Vallauris, a nearby industrial hamlet. The ceramics from the Madoura pottery works in town caught his eye, and he asked Georges and Suzanne Ramié, who owned and operated the atelier, for the opportunity to try his hand at the medium. So began, quite by chance, Picasso's enduring love affair with ceramics and his legendary collaboration with the Ramiés, which lasted for more than two decades. The artist made his first hand-decorated ceramics that very day in 1946 and began working intensively at the Madoura pottery the following year, producing work of a dazzling variety. In May 1948, he settled with Françoise and their young son Claude in a modest home at Vallauris known as 'La Galloise'; the next spring, he acquired a sprawling former perfume factory, Le Fournas, and transformed its ramshackle workshops into expansive studios for painting and sculpture, as well as storage space for his burgeoning ceramic output. "Making sculpture and ceramics was not, as is sometimes implied, a 'diversion' for Picasso from the more 'serious' business of painting," Elizabeth Cowling has written. "His vision of the world quite as much as his restless powers of invention found full expression in both activities" (Picasso, The Mediterranean Years, 1945-1962, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, London, 2010, p. 315).
By 1956, Picasso had been making ceramics for a full decade, and his collaboration with the Ramiés was going strong. His relationship with Françoise had ended three years earlier, and he had taken up with Jacqueline Roque, who had recently come to work for the Ramiés; she would become the last great love of his life and the principal muse of his final two decades. Picasso moved out of 'La Galloise' in 1954 and the following year settled with Jacqueline at 'La Californie,' an ornate, late nineteenth-century villa overlooking the Mediterranean coast at Cannes, just five miles away from the Madoura pottery. Whereas 'La Galloise' had been too small to accommodate Picasso's prodigious output, 'La Californie' offered ample space for both living and work, and its numerous Art Nouveau features lent the house a vaguely Orientalist air that attracted the artist. Moreover, the new home was adequately secluded, now an all-important concern for Picasso, whose fame attracted ever-growing numbers of admirers who threatened to disrupt his rigorous daily work routine.

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