45
45

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LOLO SARNOFF

Pablo Picasso
LE CHAT ACCROUPI
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,810,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
45

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF LOLO SARNOFF

Pablo Picasso
LE CHAT ACCROUPI
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,810,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
LE CHAT ACCROUPI
Stamped with foundry mark C. Valsuani Cire Perdue and numbered 1/6
Bronze
Length: 20 1/4 in.
51.4 cm
Conceived and cast in 1943.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Picasso.

Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris

Acquired from the above

Literature

Edward Quinn, Picasso at Work, An Intimate Photographic Study, New York, 1964, another cast illustrated in a photograph n. p.

Roland Penrose, ed., The Sculpture of Picasso (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art,  New York, 1967, no. 79, illustration of another cast p. 97 (as dating from 1944)

Werner Spies, Sculpture by Pablo Picasso with a catalogue of the works, New York, 1971, no. 278, illustration of another cast p. 281 (as dating from 1944)

Marie-Laure Besnard-Bernadac, Michèle Richet & Hélène Seckel, eds., The Picasso Museum, Paris, New York, 1985, no. 372, illustration of another cast p. 179

Elizabeth Cowling & John Golding, eds., Picasso: Sculptor/Painter (exhibition catalogue), Tate Gallery, London, 1994, plaster illustrated in a photograph p. 128

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. Nazi Occupation: 1940-1944, San Francisco, 1999, no. 43-348, illustration of the Picasso Museum cast p. 303

Werner Spies, Picasso SculpteurCatalogue raisonné des sculptures établi en collaboration avec Christine Piot, Paris, 2000, no. 278,II, illustration of another cast pp. 221 & 264

Catalogue Note

Picasso’s Le Chat may be counted among the most idiosyncratic and arresting sculptures the artist would execute during the final years of World War II. Often thought to date from 1944, the original plaster for the present work is in fact clearly visible in an atmospheric photograph of the artist’s rue des Grands-Augustins studio taken by Brassaï in 1943; perched on top of a stool next to the plaster for Picasso’s other sculptural masterpiece of the same year, L’Homme au mouton, the life-size Le Chat is so fiercely animated it appears poised to leap at any moment.

Discussing the post-war evolution of Picasso’s large-scale models of other animals that held a particular symbolic significance for him, such as Le Taureau of 1949-50 or La Chèvre of 1950, Elizabeth Cowling writes: “Picasso’s love of animals was legendary and they invariably responded to him instantly. Even in the early Paris days when he was struggling and penniless, he surrounded himself with a menagerie which included various dogs, a monkey, a tame mouse that lived in a drawer of his studio and, later on, a cat… It was difficult to keep animals in wartime Paris, but pigeons and owls were to be seen in the upper studios in the rue des Grands-Augustins, and the dog Kazbek was in constant attendance” (Elizabeth Cowling & John Golding, Picasso: Sculptor/Painter (exhibition catalogue), Tate Gallery, London, 1994, p. 32).

Picasso particularly admired the willfully independent nature of cats, the more feral the better: "I don't like high-class cats that purr on the couch in the parlor, but I adore cats that have turned wild, their hair standing on end. They hunt birds, prowl, roam the streets like demons. They cast their wild eyes at you, ready to pounce on your face. And have you noticed that female cats in the wild are always pregnant? Obviously they think of nothing but love" (quoted in Brassaï, Conversations with Picasso, Chicago, 1999, p. 60). The crouched yet alert pose of the present cat reminds the viewer that this creature is by indelible instinct a solitary and skillful predator, aptly equipped to navigate the streets in its struggle for existence.

“Picasso likes to keep his sculpture around him as his companions” Edward Quinn observed in 1964; “set out haphazardly without regard for shape, scale or kind, each piece takes on a more intense personality. They become surprisingly alive against the background [of his daily life]” (op. cit., n.p.). Picasso kept another bronze cast of the present work in his personal collection—where it took pride of place alongside his Chat of 1941 in the central room at La Californie —until the end of his life, when it was gifted to the Picasso Museum in Paris by his heirs.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York