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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT NEW YORK COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
TÊTE DE FEMME AU CORSAGE RAYÉ (PORTRAIT DE FRANÇOISE)
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 1,095,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
22

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT NEW YORK COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
TÊTE DE FEMME AU CORSAGE RAYÉ (PORTRAIT DE FRANÇOISE)
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 1,095,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
TÊTE DE FEMME AU CORSAGE RAYÉ (PORTRAIT DE FRANÇOISE)
Dated 7.9.50 (upper left)
Charcoal on paper
25 7/8 by 19 7/8 in.
65.7 by 50.5 cm
Executed on September 7, 1950.
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Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Provenance

Estate of the artist

Heinz Berggruen, Paris

Waddington Galleries, London

Jeffrey Cohen, London (acquired from the above circa 1984)

Sale: Christie's, New York, November 7, 1995, lot 57

Acquired at the above sale

Catalogue Note

Executed in September 1950, Tête de femme au corsage rayé can be interpreted as a double-portrait of Picasso’s muse Françoise Gilot. Retaining the angular, broken forms that were developed during his Cubist phase and culminated in the dramatic depictions of Dora Maar, the present portrait depicts the bust of Françoise seen both frontally and in profile. In a manner characteristic of many of his portraits, Picasso conceals any indication of a setting apart from a corner of the chair on which his model is seated, focusing the viewer’s attention on the details of her costume, hair and facial features. It is this ambiguity of space combined with the strength of the charcoal line and deft handling of medium which imbue Tête de femme au corsage rayé with the psychological presence of the sitter. 

Discussing Picasso’s depictions of Gilot, Michael C. Fitzgerald wrote: "Picasso’s portraits of Françoise also were not drawn from life; yet the dialogue between artist and subject influenced their form. Françoise was not interested in truly naturalistic images, and, unlike in the cases of Picasso’s other wives and mistresses, there are almost none that reproduce her features strictly.… These pictures are primarily focused on formal and painterly issues of concern to both artists; they engage the question of portraiture only indirectly" (M. C. Fitzgerald, "A Triangle of Ambitions: Art, Politics, and Family during the Postwar Years with Françoise Gilot" in Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, London, 1996, p. 416).

Created after the birth of their two children, Claude and Paloma, the present work belongs to the later years of their relationship when Picasso devoted most of his energy to his art and political engagements and Françoise was preoccupied with the children and her own art. "During these last years, Picasso’s portraits present a characterization of Françoise radically different from the one that had introduced her in his art. Instead of being associated with Marie-Thérèse’s voluptuous form or Olga’s rigid mentality, Françoise… now took on features that Picasso had previously used to depict her predecessor, Dora.… Françoise’s large eyes, long nose, and full mouth are heavily outlined and shaded; even though she is dry-eyed, the rendering evokes the incision-like tracts of the Weeping Woman’s tears" (ibid., pp. 433-34).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York