Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Deux poissons en relief sur fond rouge

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Deux poissons en relief sur fond rouge
signed and dated 'Picasso 11.4.57.' (on the underside)
terracotta plate, partially engraved, with colored engobe and glaze
Diameter: 16 7/8 in. (43 cm.)
Executed on 11 April 1957; unique
Galerie Louise Leiris (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris.
Saidenberg Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the late owners, September 1961.
G. Ramié, Picasso's Ceramics, Barcelona, 1974, p. 206, no. 541 (illustrated).
D.L. Fennimore et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Decorative Arts, New York, 1992, vol. IV, p. 119, no. 127 (illustrated in color).
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Lot Essay

Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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 workshop 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 Madoura the following year, producing work of 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).

"I bought this plate in 1961 from Saidenberg Gallery and gave it to Peggy as a Christmas present. It is the only piece of ceramic work by Picasso that we own. Although it is very different in feeling from most of the things we have in the living room at Hudson Pines, it is so strong and of such high quality that we do not find that it introduces a jarring note in the room." —David Rockefeller

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