Sale : Artcurial, Paris, June 7, 2006, lot 16 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Œuvres de 1971-1972, Paris, 1978, vol. 33, no. 35, illustrated p. 12
“To draw is to take control of the world and, to be very direct, of beautiful women [...]. We must bear in mind this commandeering character in order to comprehend the significance of the drawings created by the artist over the last six years [...]. He has given himself to them entirely; without even painting. Yet, if we were to summarise his imaginary world: young girls for the taking - each one more enticing than the last; chaperones; musketeers from the Las Meninas era; beyond the humour and detachment this elicits, how can we see anything but total commitment? Each drawing is a moment of truth." Pierre Daix (“Des dessins pour tout dire”, in Picasso. Gouaches, Lavis et dessins 1966-1972, Paris, 1981)
“When he died, Matisse left me his odalisques” Picasso told Roland Penrose following the death of the master (Roland Penrose, Picasso, Paris, Flammarion, 1982, p.159). This demonstrates how important this series of work, painted in Nice in the 1920s, were to him. Revisiting an artistic tradition of the 19th century, masterfully interpreted by Ingres and Delacroix, here Matisse manages expertly to incorporate the shaded nude into an ornamental setting that confirms the flatness of the painting. In Nu sur un coussin, beyond the subject itself, the purity of the lines are also reminiscent of Matisse, as well as Picasso's own classic works of the 1920s. Here the artist gives one of his many interpretations of his favourite theme, that of the nude female. Through this sensual, sculptured figure in an oriental interior, Nu sur un coussin demonstrates how in his twilight years, Picasso still retained his sense of eroticism and his technical virtuosity.
Please contact the Impressionist and Modern Art Department for the condition report for this lot. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."