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THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Pablo Picasso
LA SIESTE (LES MOISSONNEURS)
Estimation
1 500 0002 000 000
Lot. Vendu 1,325,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
15

THE COLLECTION OF ALEX & ELISABETH LEWYT

Pablo Picasso
LA SIESTE (LES MOISSONNEURS)
Estimation
1 500 0002 000 000
Lot. Vendu 1,325,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
LA SIESTE (LES MOISSONNEURS)
Signed Picasso and dated 14.1.21 (lower right)
Watercolor, pencil and gouache on paper
8 1/4 by 10 7/8 in.
21 by 27.5 cm
Executed in Paris on January 14, 1921.
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Provenance

Sam Salz, New York

Acquired from the above on March 3, 1952

Bibliographie

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Supplément aux années 1920-1922, Paris, 1975, vol. 30, no. 137, illustrated pl. 52

The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. Neoclassicism I, 1920-1921, San Francisco, 1995, no. 21-020, illustrated p. 170

Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso: from the Ballets to Drama (1917-1926), Barcelona, 1999, no. 961, illustrated p. 256

Description

Picasso first depicted the image of a peasant couple asleep in the field in a series of pencil drawings executed in the summer of 1919, culminating in the tempera composition which is now in The Museum of Modern Art in New York (fig. 1). Josep Palau i Fabre suggests that Picasso would have witnessed the scene from a train, probably during a journey between Paris and the Côte d’Azur. "It would undoubtedly have been among the many sheaves of corn that passed before his eyes that the artist observed… the couple taking an after-work siesta. At first the couple rest hand in hand and resting on each other until finally, overpowered by the heat, they sleep as best they can, apart.  In both cases, their bodies form a single arabesque, completed by colour in one of the versions" (Josep Palau i Fabre, op. cit., p. 152).

The present work was executed in January 1921, when Picasso and his wife Olga were in Paris in anticipation of the birth of their son Paulo, born on February 4th. During this time Picasso’s output was very diverse, alternating between simple cubist line drawings and neo-classical figures. One theme, however, appears to be recurring during this period: a group of intertwined figures, whether they are voluminous neo-classical figures, bathers on the beach, a tender drawing of a mother and child or a bull attacking a horse. In this respect, the image of the entangled male and female bodies would have been of great interest to Picasso at this time, enabling him to combine a dynamic composition with an erotic undertone.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York