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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOAN OESTREICH KEND

Pablo Picasso
LE PEINTRE ET SON MODÈLE
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Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
12,000,00018,000,000
LOT SOLD. 12,906,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
22

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JOAN OESTREICH KEND

Pablo Picasso
LE PEINTRE ET SON MODÈLE
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
12,000,00018,000,000
LOT SOLD. 12,906,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
LE PEINTRE ET SON MODÈLE
Signed Picasso (upper left) and dated 26.3.63.II (on the reverse)
Oil on canvas
51 by 63 3/4 in.
130 by 162 cm
Painted on March 26, 1963. 
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Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (acquired from the artist)

Charles H. Oestreich, New York (acquired from the above in 1968)

Thence by descent

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso: Peintures 1962-1963, 1964, no. 37

Literature

Hélène Parmelin, Picasso, Le Peintre et son modèle, Secrets d'alcôve d'un atelier, Paris, 1965, illustrated in color p. 155

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, oeuvres de 1962 et 1963, Paris, 1971, vol. XXIII, no. 193, illustrated p. 90

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculptures, The Sixties I, 1960-1963, San Francisco, 2002, no. 63-073, illustrated p. 345

Catalogue Note

"A Picture is not thought out and settled beforehand. While it is being done it changes as one's thoughts change. And when it is finished, it still goes on changing, according to the state of mind of whoever is looking at it. A picture lives a life like a living creature, undergoing the changes imposed on us by our life from day to day. This is natural enough, as the picture lives only through the man who is looking at it" (Pablo Picasso quoted in D. Ashton, Picasso on Art: A Selection of Views, New York, 1980, p. 27).

Painted in 1963, Le Peintre et son modèle exemplifies the dynamic force of Picasso’s late work on a magnificent scale. Picasso presents a panegyric to the powerful of the relationship between artist and model. The male figure, a recognizable amalgamation of self-portrait, paints a female nude reminiscent of the women painted by Rubens and Ingres. With its foundation in this trajectory of art history, Le Peintre et son modèle is a monumental and dynamic depiction of this historic theme.

Throughout the spring of 1963, Picasso executed a series of paintings on the theme of the painter and his model, one of the great recurring motifs of his late work. Le Peintre et son modèle was one of two compositions he completed on the 26th of March, and is among the most monumental of the series of over forty painter and model pictures executed during this period. “Picasso painted, drew and etched this subject so many times in his life that, as Michel Leiris has remarked, it almost became a genre in itself like landscape or still-life. In 1963 and 1964 he painted almost nothing else, the painter armed with his attributes, palette and brushes, the canvas on an easel, mostly seen from the side. Like a screen and the nude model seated or reclining in a space which presents all the characteristics of an artist’s studio, the big window, the sculpture on a stool, the folding screen the lamp, the divan, etc. All these stage props have nothing to do with Picasso’s real situation; he always painted without a palette and without an easel, directly onto a canvas laid flat.  This is therefore not so much a record of his own work as an ‘epitome’ of a profession” (M. Bernadac, Late Picasso (exhibition catalogue), London, 1988, p. 74).

Throughout this series of large canvases, the figure of the painter almost exclusively occupies the left-hand side of the composition, while the nude female model occupies the right half. Never tiring of exploring visual means of depicting erotic tension, in the years to follow Picasso developed a number of variations on this theme, always cauterized by a great spontaneity in brushwork and coloration, and an extraordinary creative energy. While in the later variations of this theme men and women are seen in assorted costumes and performing various activities, such as musicians or musketeers, in the 1963 series the protagonists are unmistakably the artist himself and the model he is painting, often divided by the vertical line of the easel between them. However, rather than dedicated solely to the process of painting and modeling, the two figures are involved in the game of seduction, with the artist’s brushes wittily suggestive of the man’s desire for his female subject and of the erotic tension between them. 

Picasso had devoted a large portion of his production throughout the 1960s to the reinterpretation of the old masters, an experience in which he reaffirmed his connection to some of the greatest painters in the history of art. His series of musketeers, commenced several years after Le Peintre et son modèle began, according to his wife Jacqueline Roque, “when Picasso started to study Rembrandt.” His interest in Rembrandt’s work, however, was longstanding. Indeed just two weeks before he painted the present composition, when he executed Rembrandt and Saskia. Michael Fitzgerald states “He painted Rembrandt and Saskia, based on the Dutch master’s portrait of himself and his wife (c. 1635; Dresden). Picasso had admired Rembrandt’s art (particularly his prints) since at least the thirties. During his last decade he showed a particular appreciation for two, apparently contradictory, aspects of his predecessor’s work – the unflattering realism of Rembrandt’s late style, particularly self-portraits and depictions of the female nude, and the ornamental costumes of his early phase” (M. Fitzgerald, Picasso, The Artist’s Studio (exhibition catalogue), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford & Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 2001-02, p. 57).

The motif of the female nude fascinated Picasso throughout his career, and in the present work he sets her stark white figure against a lavishly-colored background and accentuates the curves of her body. In various periods of his work, Picasso’s art was closely related to his personal life and the women depicted in his paintings were always influenced by Picasso’s female companions at the time. In Le Peintre et son modèle, the female figure is inspired by Jacqueline, the last love of his life, whom Picasso married in 1961. Although she is not a direct likeness of Jacqueline, with her characteristic hairstyle, she bears the features with which Picasso usually portrayed his last muse. The essence of Jacqueline, who never formally posed as Picasso’s model, is always present in his portraits of this period, including the present work.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York