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Details & Cataloguing

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Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
TÊTE DE FEMME (ALICE DERAIN)
inscribed Picasso, numbered 6/6 and stamped with the foundry mark C. Valsuani Cire Perdue
bronze
height: 27cm., 10 5/8 in.
Conceived in 1905 and cast in bronze by the C. Valsuani Foundry, Paris in 1960 in an edition of 6 plus 2 numbered 0 and 00.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Claude Picasso. 

Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Galleri Haaken, Oslo (acquired in 1999)
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Literature

Hommage à Pablo Picasso (exhibition catalogue), Grand Palais, Paris, 1966-67, no. 210, illustration of another cast n.p.
Werner Spies, Picasso Sculpture, London, 1971, no. 5, illustration of another cast pp. 32-33
Roland Penrose & John Golding (eds.), Picasso, 1881-1973, London, 1973, no. 205, illustration of another cast p. 206
Picasso, Das Plastische Werk (exhibition catalogue), Nationalgalerie, Berlin & Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dusseldorf, no. 7, illustration of another cast p. 326
Picasso, der Maler und seine Modelle (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1986, no. 100, illustration of another cast n.p.
Picasso, The Early Years, 1892-1906 (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Art, Washington & Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1997-98, no. 116, colour illustration of another cast p. 239
Picasso sculpteur (exhibition catalogue), Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2000, illustration of another cast n.p.

Catalogue Note

Depicting the young Alice Géry, the present work evokes a quiet elegance and reverence, reminiscent of Pablo Picasso’s female depictions of circa 1904-05. John Richardson records that Picasso nicknamed Alice as ‘la vierge’, and indeed, her Madonna-like features echo his previous works on the theme. Gertrude Stein rather recalled the Madonna-Alice as ‘the daughter of a workingman and had the brutal thumbs that…were characteristic of workingmen…she had a certain wild quality that perhaps had to do with her brutal thumbs and was curiously in accordance with her Madonna face (Stein quoted in John Richardson, A life of Picasso, 1991, p. 306). Whilst Stein focuses on her contradictory features between ethereal and human, Picasso was said to be enthralled by the beauty and defiance of this young woman mingling with the bohemian Bateau-Lavoir artists. Notoriously unfaithful, she had married the mathematician Maurice Princet, who is recalled by John Richardson to have also dabbled as an art dealer, and soon after towards the end of 1905 left him for the painter André Derain, whom she had met through Picasso; the two were married in 1907.

Picasso first drew a portrait of Alice in 1905, in which she is depicted with an elongated, almost Mannerist, profile. Her features are echoed and mingled with other models in works of this period, breaking into new ground when Picasso focuses on his lover of the time Fernande Olivier. The present work focusses on the bust of the sitter, posed in an-almost three-quarter turn, the bronze gently modelled and her features at rest. Alice and André remained good friends with Picasso, spending summers together in Cadaques, most notably in 1910, the critical year when Picasso is known to have pioneered a new ‘Analytical’ interpretation of Cubism.

Comp: 394L17008_9GLRG_comp
caption:
Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman in Profile (Alice Derain), 1905, drypoint, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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