Lot 137
  • 137

Louis le Brocquy, H.R.H.A. b.1916

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
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  • Louis le Brocquy, H.R.H.A.
  • image of picasso (490)
  • signed and dated 83 on the reverse; signed and dated 1983 on the stretcher
  • oil on canvas
  • 99 by 99cm.; 39 by 39in.


Nice, Galerie Municipale des Ponchettes, 1985, details untraced;
Dublin, Guinness Hop Store, le Brocquy, Images of W.B.Yeats, James Joyce, Federico Garcia Lorca, Picasso, Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, 1975 – 1987, September – October 1987, with tour to Belfast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, no.32, illustrated in the catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Picasso’s dynamic artistic innovations have provided instrumental sources of inspiration for le Brocquy throughout his artistic career.  He was instantly captivated by the analytical and synthetic cubism he experienced at first hand at the Spanish artist’s exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 1945. He subsequently developed the vibrant imagery and slightly fractured forms that became trademarks of his work in the 1940s and which are clearly manifested in his Tinker series masterpiece, Travelling Woman with Newspaper (1947, sold in these rooms, 18th May 2000, lot 158).

Indeed, le Brocquy considered Picasso to be ‘a Prometheon figure’ (Anne Madden, quoted in Louis le Brocquy Portrait Heads, National Gallery of Ireland, exh.cat., 4 November 2006 - 14 January 2007, p.16) and it is fitting that in 1983, the Musée Picasso, Antibes, commissioned him to paint an image of his artistic hero for their collection.  The Director of the Museum, Danièle Giraudy, recalls being completely transfixed when presented with the group of works, including the present portrait, which each encapsulated the ‘unbearable scrutiny of Picasso, fixed and still…’ (Giraudy, quoted, ibid., p.16). Initially unable to single out a work for the collection, Giraudy decided to hang each piece from the series at the museum in order to make a final selection and eventually decided on Image Ultérieure. The series is a clear tribute to the older artist but is also an apt display of the innovative style that may have been initially inspired by Picasso but which has developed into le Brocquy’s own distinctive visual vocabulary.