388
388

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF EMILE WOLF

Pablo Picasso
SEMINARISTES
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 90,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
388

PROPERTY FROM THE FAMILY OF EMILE WOLF

Pablo Picasso
SEMINARISTES
Estimate
50,00070,000
LOT SOLD. 90,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
SEMINARISTES
Signed Picasso (lower right)
Pen and ink, ink wash and watercolor on paper
5 1/4 by 6 3/4 in.
13.3 by 17.5 cm
Executed circa 1899-1900.
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Provenance

Knoedler Gallery, New York
Emile Wolf, New York (acquired from the above by 1969)
Thence by descent

Exhibited

Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Picasso, Paisaje interior y exterior, 1999-2000, no. 36, illustrated in the catalogue
Providence, Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, n.d. 

Literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Supplément aux années 1892-1902, vol. XXI, Paris, 1970, no. 147, illustrated p. 50 (dated 1899)

Catalogue Note

In 1899 Picasso left Madrid—where he had been enrolled at the conservative Real Academia—and returned to Barcelona where he immediately became immersed in the more experimental and forward-thinking artistic atmosphere that prevailed there. Already showing the prodigious talent and inventive impulse that would define his illustrious career, in Barcelona Picasso found the perfect environment in which to begin developing the style that would mark his early work. 

Executed during this important period in Picasso’s development, Seminaristes illustrates Picasso’s immediate responsiveness to this world of new influences. Embracing the modern sensibility that would characterize his depictions of Parisian life the following year, the work is characteristic of Picasso’s acute and perceptive observation of his surroundings. It also reveals his increasing receptivity to new modes of expression. The ink wash and watercolor are applied fluidly and sensuously—in bold swathes which Picasso uses to delineate space and evoke atmosphere. The use of a narrow chromatic range and the focus on the delicate yet stirring hue of blue pigment across the composition prefigures his preoccupation with the color during his Blue Period a year later.

This new approach to form and color is reflected in the development of his drawing over this period as he gradually abandoned the academic technique of modelling in favor of bolder lines and the use of blocks of white or black to suggest depth. This shift was influenced by the prevailing spirit of Catalan modernisme and specifically by his work on graphic projects—most famously in the design for a menu for Els Quatre Gats—which emphasized a flatter, more linear style and the use of color to create a dynamic of depth and movement in the composition. As John Richardson observed of this critical period, “it reveals an astonishingly rapid advance not just in acuity of observation and technique but in drama and style. Everything has more of an edge to it” (John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, 1881-1906, vol. I, London, 1991, p. 109).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York