Signed and dated Picasso 10.4.37 (lower right)
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 6, 2002, lot 322)
Acquired at the above sale
David Douglas Duncan, Picasso's Picassos, New York, 1961, illustrated pp. 127 and 223 (as dating from 10.8.37 and illustrated without the signature)
The Picasso Project, Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, Spanish Civil War 1937-1939, San Francisco, 1997, no. 37-177, illustrated p. 72 (as dating from 10.8.37 and illustrated without the signature)
Painted in April of 1937, the present work was executed while Picasso was involved with both Dora Maar and Marie-Thérèse Walter. The still-lifes from this period are notable in that they reflect the impact of the disparity between the life that Picasso shared with Marie-Thérèse in contrast to his life with Dora Maar. Jean Sutherland Boggs writes, "With Marie-Thérèse (and Maya) before the war at Le Tremblay-sur-Mauldre and after 1941 in the apartment on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris, Picasso found the contentment to record trivial comestic things, often on a very small scale" (Jean Sutherland Boggs, Picasso and Things, New York, 1992, p. 243). She compares these serene interpretations, stemming from his tranquil domestic life with Marie-Thérèse, to the bold, dramatic works inspired by Dora Maar, who in fact inspired few still-lifes.
David Douglas Duncan, the first to record Nature Morte, illustrates the present work with the following allusion to Dora Maar, "Vivacious, provocative, witty conversationalist... effervescent as plums in champagne, Dora Maar swirled into Picasso's life... a name that would be linked always thereafter with his in art" (David Douglas Duncan, op. cit., p. 127) Although this picture is illustrated in Duncan's book without a signature, it was common practice for Picasso to sign his paintings years after he had completed them. The signature on the present picture must have been added by the artist when it left his studio after 1961.
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