182
182

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR

Pablo Picasso
TÊTE
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,392,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
182

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR

Pablo Picasso
TÊTE
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,392,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
TÊTE
Signed Picasso (lower left); dated 13.10.55. and inscribed (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
28 3/4 by 21 3/4 in.
73.2 by 55.2 cm
Painted on October 13, 1955.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Provenance

Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris (acquired directly from the artist)
Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (acquired from the above in 1956)
Léo Dohmen, Antwerp
Sale: Kunstveilingen M. Bernaerts NV., Antwerp, May 15, 1990, lot 3508
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Okyama, Okyama Prefectural Museum of Art; Kumamato, Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art; Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art & Gifu, The Museum of Fine Arts, Exposition Pablo Picasso: Autour des portraits, 1990, no. 16, illustrated in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

After his dedicated Cubist period came to an end, broadly speaking, Picasso never again committed himself to one singular aesthetic. This is particularly evident in work from his so-called Mediterranean period, to which the present picture belongs. Beginning in 1953 and continuing until his death in 1973, Picasso revisited motifs from his earlier work while simultaneously re-working the art of the Old Masters, Manet, Matisse and Delacroix’s Les Femmes d’Algers (see fig. 2). Surreal in terms of its lack of figurative placement, abstracted automatism and piecemeal bodily construction, Tête is arguably a physiological analysis of his nascent relationship with Jacqueline Roque whom Picasso met in 1953. Highlighting her unmistakable almond eyes which he so adored, the artist defines a form that he does not quite know or fully understand. Incorporating a breadth of seemingly vast negative space and choosing a simplified grisaille palette, Picasso presents the viewer with a mysterious analogous creature constructed with highly linear brushwork reminiscent of both Cubist and Surrealist tendencies.

The present work is surely the product of the artistic and romantic vivacity he felt as the two became more deeply involved. Jacqueline was accepting of the notoriously temperamental artist and his obsession with his art, and her unflappable support and willingness to self-sacrifice on the altar of his ego won the artist’s heart. Picasso married her in 1961 and, as William Rubin notes, “Jacqueline’s understated, gentle, and loving personality combined with her unconditional commitment to [Picasso] provided an emotionally stable life and a dependable foyer over a longer period of time than he had ever before enjoyed” (William Rubin quoted in Picasso & Jacqueline, The Evolution of Style (exhibition catalogue), New York, 2014-15, p. 190). 

According to the photographer Edward Quinn, whose photographs document Picasso's studio work in the early 1960s, Jacqueline was the driving force behind Picasso's ceaseless and demiurgic production: "His close friends agree that Jacqueline's presence and attention were mainly responsible for Picasso's having remained so active until his death. His outlook on life and his enthusiasm for work helped him defy old age and stay young in mind, and even in body. He liked to be with younger people, and his 'eternal youth' coupled with Jacqueline's adaptability, made the great difference between their ages unimportant" (Edward Quinn & Pierre Daix, The Private Picasso, New York, 1987, p. 291).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York