Lot 116
  • 116

Pablo Picasso

120,000 - 180,000 USD
221,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Mère et enfant
  • Signed Picasso and dated 17-1-21- (upper left)
  • Pencil on paper


Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne
Private Collection (acquired from the above)
Thence by descent


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1920 à 1922, vol. IV, Paris, 1951, no. 235, illustrated pl. 82
The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, Neoclassicism I, 1920-1921, San Francisco, 1995, no. 21-023, illustrated p. 171
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso, From the Ballets to Drama (1917-1926), Madrid, 1999, no. 966, illustrated p. 257 (titled Siesta in the Country)

Catalogue Note

Picasso executed this image of a woman and child in January 1921. He returned to a similar scene several months later, in July of the same year, in a series of pencil drawings which culminated in La Source, now in the Musée Picasso in Paris, and the oil of the same title in the collection of Moderna Museet in Stockholm (see fig. 1). The origin of this imagery lies in Picasso’s travels in Italy in 1917, where he was inspired both by scenes of everyday rural life, and by the art of classical antiquity. During the winter of 1920-21, Picasso also found a source of inspiration in the works of the seventeenth-century master Nicolas Poussin. Although Poussin’s subject matter is primarily drawn from Biblical motifs and mythology, his classically inspired landscapes populated with figures depicted in a powerful Baroque style would have certainly appealed to Picasso during this period.

As Alfred Barr observed, around 1920 Picasso "began to take an interest in the style, the sentiment, the characters, the mythology of Greek and Roman antiquity… Picasso’s neo-classicism was, of course, a part of a broad, complex reaction against the excesses and violent originalities of prewar movements such as cubism, expressionism and primitivism. By 1920 cries of back to Poussin! back to Ingres! back to Seurat! rang through Paris… back to the Greeks and Romans!... During his Italian trip in 1917 he visited Pompeii, and doubtless the museums of classical art in Rome and Naples" (Alfred Barr, Picasso: Fifty Years of his Art, New York, 1966, p. 115).