Lot 13
  • 13

PABLO PICASSO Trois mains au gobelet

350,000 - 450,000 EUR
369,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Trois mains au gobelet
  • signed Picasso (lower left)
  • charcoal and chalk on paper


Max Pellequer, Paris
Galerie Ernst Beyeler, Basel
Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zürich (acquired by 1968)
Professor Gustav Stein, Cologne (acquired in 1969)


Bielefeld, Kunsthalle, Picassos Klassizismus, 1988, no. 41, illustrated in the catalogue


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, supplément aux années 1920-1922, Paris, 1975, vol. XXX, no. 258, illustrated pl. 83
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso: From the Ballets to Drama (1917-1926), Barcelona, 1999, no. 1107, illustrated p. 296
Picasso's Drawings, 1890-1921: Reinventing Tradition (exhibition catalogue), The Frick Collection, New York & National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2011-12, mentioned p. 267

Catalogue Note

Trois mains au gobelet dates from the summer of 1921. Picasso spent it at Fontainebleau, not far from the palace of François the 1st. He was accompanied by the gracious Olga, one of the dancers from Diaghilev's troupe, met behind the scenes of Parade. In 1918, he married her with the blessings of Apollinaire and Max Jacob.  Born in 1921, the little Paulo also spent the summer with them.

At this time, and during the Fontainebleau sojourn of three months, Picasso ardently, and almost exclusively, explored the theme of women at the fountain. Completed in Fontainebleau in 1921 and now at the MoMA, the monumental painting entitled Femmes à la fontaine can be considered to be the feminine twin of La Flûte de Pan (1923), another absolute masterpiece of the period.

It is interesting to note that a work of this genre, in which Picasso's neoclassical  imprint is assumed and confirmed, was made at a time when Picasso was studying the Italian mannerists who resided at the French court in the 16th century.

It must be said that Picasso's neoclassicism, if both masterful and implacable in its rendering, is the result of a conjunction, even a concretization of many sources of inspiration. The five albums of drawings made between 1919 and 1923 reflect this "profusion of experiences and styles of the period and reveal the unpredictable and sometimes contradictory sources and pathways, of his master works." (Musée Picasso, Carnets, Catalogue des dessins, vol.1, Paris, 1996, p.287). L'Antigone by Cocteau is present here. But also Poussin's and Renoir's Arcadia. The same can be said of Italy where Picasso travelled in 1917. Greece also figures in the pantheon of influences: in notebooks called  "classical", can be found two quick sketches of the Diana and Aphrodite frescoes seen at the British Museum in 1919. "They constitute an indisputable source of inspiration for the cycle of women at the fountain and also for the draped mother and child works which use generous and monumental forms, the elegant and natural pose of the Greek model, whilst embodying an ideal of fertility and prosperity more autobiographical than ideological, in his case." (opus cité, p.289).