Lot 314
  • 314

Pablo Picasso

500,000 - 700,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Poire coupée, verre et pipe
  • Signed Picasso and dated 14 (lower right)
  • Charcoal and colored crayon on paper laid down on card
  • 13 3/4 by 17 3/4 in.
  • 34.9 by 45 cm


Yvonne Zervos, Paris (acquired by 1961)
Perls Galleries, New York
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
Acquired from the above on May 22, 1986


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1912 à 1917, vol. II**, Paris, 1961, no. 483, illustrated pl. 224


This work is in very good condition. Executed on beige colored wove paper which has been laid down to card. The edges of the sheet are cut unevenly. The pigment is fresh and well preserved. There is a scuff to the paper at the lower right edge and the upper left edge which may be the result of a previous mounting. There is some light charcoal staining to the paper throughout the composition which appears to be inherent to the composition. There are two extremely minor spots of foxing in the upper left quadrant. Otherwise, fine.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Of all the manifestations of Picasso’s output, his Cubist compositions are among his most iconic and aesthetically groundbreaking. Picasso, along with Georges Braque, pioneered this artistic movement and introduced the avant-garde to solidly traditional subjects. While still lifes were favored, radical interpretations pushed the genre to new levels of pictorial abstraction. “Many think that cubism is an art of transition, an experiment which is to bring ulterior results. Those who think that way have not understood it,” Picasso explained, “cubism is not either a seed or a fetus, but an art dealing primarily with forms, and when a form is realized it is there to live its own life... If cubism is an art of transition I am sure that the only thing that will come out of it is another form of cubism” (quoted in John Richardson, A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932, New York, 2007, p. 75). Poire coupée, verre et pipe presents a group of objects—an apple, a wine glass, and a pipe—from several vantage points, providing a spectacle that would not otherwise be possible in a two-dimensional representation. While these items are quotidian at their core, they are also distinctively bohemian in nature, speaking to the surroundings Picasso found himself in 1914, in a gritty yet somehow idyllic post-Hausmann Paris. The present work belongs to an immensely important period of artistic development for Picasso which saw the beginning of his shift from analytic to synthetic Cubism.

Discussing this phase of Picasso's Cubism, John Richardson notes that these still-lifes "are astonishingly varied in their dazzling colours, elaborate patterning, rich textures and complex compositions. No longer did Picasso feel obliged to investigate the intricate formal and spatial problems that had preoccupied him ten years before. Instead he felt free to relax and exploit his cubist discoveries in a decorative manner that delights the eye" (John Richardson, Picasso, An American Tribute (exhibition catalogue), Knoedler Galleries, New York, 1962, n.p.).

Experimenting with the deconstruction and reconstruction of form and the manipulation of space in his Cubist compositions, Picasso exposes the unique physicality of the objects he depicts. A rich aberration on the still life, the present work is characterized by a focus on objects that enabled Picasso to explore new representational possibilities. As Anne Umland writes, the “manipulation of objects—many of which…define volumes (other musical instruments, bottles, wineglasses, cups), although they lack its extreme planarity—may have helped to compel a new visual vocabulary that was at once pictorial and sculptural in motivation and affect” (quoted in Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2011, p. 22).