Thursday, October 23, 2014

Picasso Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur: Sales at Sotheby's Nov. 3-5

Picasso Through the Eyes of a Connoisseur is a collection of over 125 etchings, linoleum cuts, paintings, sculptures, lithographs and ceramics by one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The offerings begin with a single owner sale of Prints on 3 November 2014 that presents a comprehensive view of Pablo Picasso’s entire career – from 1923 Le Collier to works from the 1970s – with estimates ranging from a few thousand to $600,000.

 Led by a number of Picasso’s most celebrated works, including 

Portrait de Femme au Chapeau a Pompons et au Corsage Imprime from 1962 (est. $400/600,000) 

and Portrait de Jeune Fille d'après Cranach le Jeune, II (est. $400/600,000) from 1958, 

the breadth of the collection illustrates the artist’s wide ranging iconography. Paintings and drawings by Picasso will also be included in the 4 & 5 November Impressionist and Modern Art Evening and Day sales.

Throughout his career, Picasso mastered various artistic mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, set design and illustration. While most often associated with the Cubist movement, Picasso used etching, drypoint, aquatint, lithography and linoleum cuts for their intrinsic artistic properties from the early 1900’s until just a few months before his death. The present collection a veritable survey collection of Picasso’s career and capabilities as a printmaker, painstakingly assembled by a private American collector over several decades, admirably demonstrates Picasso’s ability to evolve, to innovate and to project his visual vocabulary in multiple media.

In addition to examples of some of Picasso’s most iconic and sought-after works, other highlights from the collection celebrate the artist’s technical skill and quest to capture the essence of a subject over the course of many stages of the image’s progression. 

Femme aux Cheveux Verts is a set of eight lithographs from 1949 depicting Françoise Gilot, Picasso’s lover and muse, in various phases – lacking hair, lacking a face, lacking color (est. $400/600,000). The viewer is able to see over the course of the eight states how a composition can be revised and how each phase contributes to the final work.

The collection also reveals Picasso’s mastery of three dimensional media, including 

a 23 karat gold plate from 1956 entitled Jacqueline au Chevalet (est. $150/250,000). 

Again using a wife, Jacqueline Roque, as subject matter; the gold plate depicts her at an easel – the reversal of her in control of easel is a rare repositioning of the role his muses played in his work. 

Ceramics in the collection range from $3,000 to $250,000 offering plates, statuettes, plaques and vases also including Personnages et Têtes from 1954 (est. $80/120,000) and a 23 carat gold figure entitled Joueur de Cymbale from 1960 (est. $50/80,000).

A painting by Picasso will be offered in the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 4 November 2014. Depicting Picasso’s lover and “golden muse,” 

Femme au Col de Fourrure (Marie-Thérèse) from 1937 is estimated at $4/6 million. Painted two years after the birth of the couple’s daughter Maya, the picture illustrates the inventiveness, energy and passion that Marie-Thérèse inspired during the Surrealist period. 

Picasso drawings, including Harlequin et Femme Nue from 1969 (est. $250/350,000) and Le Retournant de la Paix from 1962 (est. $70/90,000) will be offered in Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale on 5 November 2014. 

Two additional works from the collection, 

Henri Matisse’s Nu Allongée (est. $150/250,000) dated 1921 

and L'écuyère au Cheval Blanc (est. $600/800,000) by Marc Chagall from 1927, 

will also be included in the Day Sale.