Lot 4
  • 4

YVES KLEIN | Portrait relief de Claude Pascal (PR 3)

300,000 - 500,000 EUR
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  • Yves Klein
  • Portrait relief de Claude Pascal (PR 3)
  • 176 x 94 x 31 cm; 69  1/4  x 37 x 12  1/4  in.
dry pigment and synthetic resin on bronze mounted on panel covered with gold leavesExecuted in 1962, this work is number 4 from an edition of 6 plus 2 Hors Commerce and 2 Artist Proofs. This work is registered at the Yves Klein Archives under number PR3.


Claude Pascal, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owners in 2003


Exhibition catalogue, Fondation La Caixa, Europa de Postguerra 1945-1965, art despuès del diluvio, Barcelona, May - July 1995, p. 235, illustrated
Jean-Paul Ledeur, Yves Klein, Catalogue des Editions et des Sculptures Editées, Paris, 2000, p. 272, illustrated in colour
Robert Fleck, Marie Raymond, Yves Klein, Paris, 2004, p. 192, illustrated in colour
Marianne et Pierre Nahon, Dictionnaire amoureux illustré de l'Art moderne et contemporain, Gründ, 2018, p. 187, illustrated in colour


The colours are fairly accurate in the printed catalogue illustration although is does not accurately convey the intensity and velvet aspect of the IKB blue pigments in the original work. Under Ultra Violet Light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. This work is in very good condition.
"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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Caption for comps: Réalisation du Portrait Relief de Claude Pascal (PR 3), 1962 14, rue Campagne-Première, Paris, France
© Photo : Harry Shunk and Janos Kender J.Paul Getty Trust. The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. (2014.R.20) © ADAGP, Paris 2019 QUOTE under cataloguing

Yves Klein was an artist creator of a myth. Becoming Yves the Monochrome, he adopts the blue to which he gives his name - the IKB, International Klein Blue -, projects art into the invisible, transforms his models into "living brushes". In addition to an exceptional work, he leaves behind clairvoyant writings that make him one of the most innovative artists of his time, whose boldness never ceases to amaze.

In February 1962, Yves Klein decided to create three portraits-reliefs, real-size moldings of his new realist friends: Arman, Martial Raysse and Claude Pascal. Like for his Anthropométries, he decided to use the naked body stripped from all its attributes, and create high reliefs, which dimensions, front presentation and asymmetrical leg cuts are reminiscent of the vestiges of classic Roman-Greek statuary.

Covered with IKB pigments and mounted on a majestic panel painted with gold leaves, this portrait-relief of poet Claude Pascal, with who Yves Klein collaborated several times in the course of his career, was made only a couple of months before the tragic death of the artist.  His plan was to complete the series with a fourth and last portrait-relief representing himself in the same posture, but this time covered with gold pigments mounted on a ultramarine panel.

As he alternated between gold and IKB, two colors inseparable from his practice and emblematic of his work, Klein once again played around codes. The human figure seems almost detached from its vertical support and rises up like another Saut dans le Vide. Because of the physicality of his posture, the male figure seems particularly present and absent at the same time. Captured in bronze, he is covered with monochromatic soft and thin Klein blue particles like a sepulchral ointment. With this portrait-relief of Blaise Pascal, Yves Klein not only questions pictorial and sculptural media but also pushes the boundaries of art by giving life to a revolutionary sensitive, spiritual and metaphysical work that inspired generations to come.