- Pablo Picasso
- L’Etreinte forcée
- signed P.R. Picasso (lower left)
- pastel on board
- 47.3 by 38.2cm.
- 18 5/8 by 15in.
E. & A. Silberman Galleries, New York
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired from the above in 1966)
Frank Heller, Beverly Hills (acquired from the above in 1973)
Dr Maria Naiman (acquired in 1974)
Galerie Cazeau-Beraudière, Paris (acquired by 2001)
Private Collection, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2009
Winterthur, Kunstmuseum; Basel, Galerie Beyeler & Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Picasso. 90 Zeichnungen und farbige Arbeiten, 1971-72, no. 1, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled Frenzy)
Cologne, Käthe Kollwitz Museum, 'Paris bezauberte mich...' - Käthe Kollwitz und die französische Moderne, 2010-11, no. 85, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Giorgio di San Lazzaro (ed.), ‘Hommage à Picasso’, in XXe Siècle, numéro spécial, 1971, illustrated in colour p. 9 (titled Frenzy)
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso Vivo (1881-1907), Barcelona, 1980, no. 500, illustrated in colour p. 207 (titled Abrazo bestial)
Carsten-Peter Warncke & Ingo F. Walther (eds.), Pablo Picasso, Cologne, 1991, vol. I, illustrated in colour p. 61 (titled Frenzy)
John Richardson, A Life of Picasso (1881-1906), London, 1991, vol. I, illustrated p. 169 (titled Frenzy and with incorrect medium)
Anatoly Podoksik, Pablo Picasso, The Creative Eye (from 1881 to 1914), Bournemouth, 1996, illustrated p. 22
Carsten-Peter Warncke, Pablo Picasso, Cologne, 1997, vol. I, illustrated in colour p. 61
Javier Herrera, Picasso, Madrid y el 98: La revista ‘Arte Joven’, Madrid, 1997, p. 180
The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. Turn of the Century, 1900-1901, San Francisco, 2010, no. 1900-237, illustrated p. 66 (with incorrect medium)
One of the things that struck him on his arrival in the French capital was the sight of couples embracing freely in the street and during his stay he made a number of drawings on the subject as well as producing fully worked pastels showing couples both in the street and in the relative privacy of an attic bedroom. He may have had Edvard Munch’s depictions of the same subject (fig. 3) in mind, and he certainly succeeds in capturing the same fervour both in the disposition of the figures and his remarkable handling of the medium. This expressive quality is particularly pronounced in L’Etreinte forcée where the embrace is exaggerated by the twisting forms of the couple and the juxtaposition of the luminous brightness of the woman’s clothing against the darker form of the man.
Palau i Fabre sees these works as embodying the energy and intensity that would remain central to Picasso’s œuvre: ‘The violence of these embraces, of which I am acquainted with five or six versions, is the first thing that surprises us. It is this violence that is to dictate his style to Picasso. In the charcoal sketched the decisiveness of the line endeavours to echo that of the theme. With this fury the line accentuates the fury of the lovers […]. We are at the very centre of Picasso’s fundamental attitude, the attitude we will find in him until his death […]. Those vertical lines going from top to bottom of the characters in the pastel [fig. 1 and the present work], those decided brushstrokes in the embraces of the lovers in the garret make us forget Degas. Picasso does not wish to be descriptive, he wishes to participate in the description’ (J. Palau i Fabre, op. cit., p. 207).