44
44

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
LE COUPLE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 845,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
44

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
LE COUPLE
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 845,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
LE COUPLE
Signed Picasso and dated 15.6.60 (upper left); inscribed Buena pica en el morrillo and dated 15.6.60 on the reverse
Pen, ink and ink wash on paper
13 5/8 by 17 in.
34.5 by 43 cm
Executed on June 15, 1960.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris

Eleanore and Daniel Saidenberg, New York (acquired from the above)

Acquired as a gift from the above in 1994

Literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1959 à 1961, vol. 19, Paris, 1968, no. 346, illustrated pl. 105

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Sixties I, 1960-1963, San Francisco, 2002, no. 60-258, illustrated p. 87

Catalogue Note

Picasso's picador ravishing his female lover is an image that encompases the major themes of his art: sex, mortality, love, control and the drama of the corrida.  From his early days as an artist in Madrid until the end of his life in France, the pageantry of the bullfight served as an all-encompassing metaphor for Picasso's most significant carnal and moral experiences, and the present work is among his most explicitly sexual interpretations of the theme.  Images of Picasso's emblematic Minotaur raping a maiden appeared throughout the heated political atmosphere of the 1930s  (fig. 1).  Now, comfortably settled in his relationship with Jacqueline during a more placid time in his life, another character of the bullfight takes charge in the sexual act -- the galant picador.   

This beautifully-executed composition dates from 1960, when the topic of virility was a major preoccupation for the artist, fast-approaching his 79th birthday.   While depictions of sexual relationships appeared throughout Picasso's long career, it was during these years of failing health and impotence that the subject became an obsession.  "It is age that forced us to stop ... making love," Picasso lamented. "You can't do it any more, but you still want to" (quoted in Diana Widmaier Picasso, Picasso, "Art Can Only be Erotic,"  New York, 2005, p. 108).  On the reverse of the drawing Picasso has written a bawdy double-entendre, "a good poke in the cheek," referring to the the picador's 'lancing' of his conquest.  

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York