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

Deux soeurs

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Deux soeurs
pencil on paper
24 1/2 x 18 3/8 in. (62.2 x 46.7 cm.)
Drawn in Barcelona circa 1902
Marius de Zayas, Paris & New York, by whom acquired directly from the artist, and thence by descent.
Richard Salmon, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner 1989.
M. Raynal, Picasso, Paris, 1922 (illustrated pl. XIII; dated '1906').
D. E. Gordon, Modern Art Exhibitions, 1900-1916, Selected Catalogue Documentation, Munich, 1974, no. 1215, p. 246 (illustrated).
A. Podoksik, Picasso, The Artist's Works in Soviet Museums, New York & Leningrad, 1989, p. 142 (illustrated fig. 39).
D. Chevalier, Picasso, The Blue and Rose Periods, Bergamo, 1991 (illustrated p. 45).
The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Blue Period, 1902-1904, San Francisco, 2011, no. 1902-040 (illustrated p. 20).
Munich, Moderne Galerie (Heinrich Thannhauser), Pablo Picasso, February 1913, no. 96 (illustrated; titled 'Die Begegnung' and dated '1906').
New York, The Artis Group Ltd., Drawings, Watercolours & Sculpture, From Lautrec to Picasso to Warhol, November - December 1987, no. 3 (illustrated).
Washington, D. C., National Gallery of Art, Picasso, The Early Years, 1892-1906, March - July 1997, no. 78, pp. 177 & 291 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Bogotá, Museo Nacional de Colombia, Picasso en Bogotá, May - August 2000, no. 5, p. 206 (illustrated p. 71).
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Please note that Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

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Jessica Brook
Jessica Brook

Lot Essay

Maya Widmaier-Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

L’Entrevue is one of six drawings directly related to the painting L’entrevue (Les deux soeurs) (Zervos I.163; Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg), which is one of the seminal works from the artist’s Blue Period. Of these drawings, this sheet is the largest, and the composition is the most similar to the oil (cf. Zervos VI nos. 435 & 436; Zervos XXI nos. 368 & 369; and Zervos XXII no. 37).

Picasso explained the subject of the series in a letter to Max Jacob dating from the time of execution: ‘It’s a picture of a St. Lazare whore and a sister’ (letter from Picasso to Max Jacob, 13 July 1902). Saint-Lazare was a women’s prison and hospital in Montmartre, run by Dominican nuns. Many of the women there were imprisoned for offenses related to prostitution, and some even served their sentences in the company of their infants and young children. Picasso frequented the prison in search of unpaid models, which inspired his series of paintings from this period on the theme of maternity, in which the women are seen huddled in heavy cloaks, blankets and hoods that recall the head-coverings worn by the inmates.

At the time he was painting the series of L’Entrevue, Picasso was in Barcelona, far from Saint-Lazare. However while Picasso found new subjects among the poor and destitute of Barcelona, he continued to find inspiration in his memories and sketches of these unfortunate women of Paris.

It is a sign of the early recognition of the importance of this drawing that it was one of the 76 paintings and 37 works on paper chosen by Pablo Picasso and his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, to represent the artist at his first major retrospective, which was held in Munich at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in February 1913.

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