Pablo Picasso
NU, LES BRAS CROISÉS
Estimate
6,000,0008,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
Pablo Picasso
NU, LES BRAS CROISÉS
Estimate
6,000,0008,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
NU, LES BRAS CROISÉS
Dated 13.2.60 & 18.2.60 on the reverse
Oil on canvas
39 3/8 by 31 7/8 in.
100 by 81 cm
Painted on February 18, 1960.
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Provenance

Estate of the artist

Claude Ruiz-Picasso (acquired by descent from the above)

Gagosian Gallery, New York (acquired from the above)

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003

Exhibited

Tokyo, Isetan Museum, Au Temps des Linoléums 1954-1972, no. I-4, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Gagosian Gallery, Pablo Picasso: Portraits, 1996

Literature

David Douglas Duncan, Picasso's Picasso's, New York, 1961, illustrated in color p. 194 and p. 259

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, oeuvres de 1959 a 1961, vol. 19, Paris, 1968, no. 174, illustrated p. 45

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Sixties I, 1960-1963, San Francisco, 2002, no. 60-052, illustrated p. 18

Catalogue Note

The woman featured in this striking painting is Jacqueline Roque, Picasso's devoted second wife who remained with him until the time of his death in 1973. Picasso's renderings of Jacqueline constitute the largest group of images of any of the women in his life. The artist first met Jacqueline in 1952 at the pottery studio in Vallauris, while he was still living with the mother of his two children, Françoise Gilot.  By 1954 Françoise had left the scene, and the unmistakable raven-haired beauty began to appear in Picasso's paintings.  Unlike Françoise, Jacqueline was accepting of the notoriously temperamental artist and his blind obsession with his art. Her unflappable support won the artist's heart, and Picasso married her in 1961.  The photographer David Douglas Duncan, who knew Picasso and Jacqueline well during these years, observed that the couple "lived in a world of his own creation, where he reigned almost as a king yet cherished only two treasures - freedom and the love of Jacqueline" (D. D. Duncan, Picasso and Jacqueline, New York, 1988, p. 9).

Throughout their life together, Jacqueline served as a model for several of Picasso's reinterpretations of art historical masterworks, including his studies of Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Delacroix' Femmes d'Algiers. But here, the artist has chosen to paint her not in any narrative context, but rather as the singular object and focus of his attention.  Much like Marie-Thérèse had been in the 1930s, Jacqueline was a soothing companion for the firebrand artist, and his grandest depictions of her evoke the quiet yet extraordinarily powerful influence she held over his entire production during these last years of his life.  In his monograph on the artist, Duncan claimed that "Jacqueline told me she had not once posed for Picasso.  Her silence filled their home — and her face his eyes"  (ibid., p. 27).

In his discussion of Picasso's late works, David Sylvester links them to his early masterpiece, Demoiselles d'Avignon, both distinguished by the 'raw vitality' which they have as their central underlying theme:  "The resemblance of figures in the Demoiselles and in late Picasso to masked tribal dancers is as crucial as their scale in giving them a threatening force.  It is irrelevant whether or not particular faces or bodies are based on particular tribal models: what matters is the air these personages have of coming from a world more primitive, possibly more cannibalistic and certainly more elemental than ours.  Despite the rich assortment of allusions to paintings in the Renaissance tradition, the treatment of space rejects that tradition in favor of an earlier one, the flat unperspectival space of, say, medieval Catalan frescoes...  At twenty five, Picasso's raw vitality was already being enriched by the beginnings of an encyclopaedic awareness of art; at ninety, his encyclopaedic awareness of art was still being enlivened by a raw vitality" (D. Sylvester, ibid., p. 144).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York