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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London

Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
TÊTE DE JACQUELINE
signed Picasso and dated 20.3.54.
partially painted and incised white clay
height: 23.5cm., 9 1/4 in.
Executed on 20th March 1954. This work is unique.
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Claude Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Provenance

Jacqueline Roque-Picasso (the artist's wife)
Private Collection, France (acquired from the above circa 1980; sale: Sotheby's, Paris, 8th December 2010, lot 42)
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Literature

Georges Ramié, Céramique de Picasso, Paris, 1974, no. 580, illustration of another painted version p. 228

Catalogue Note

The present work is a superb example of Picasso's mastery of terracotta, a medium in which he began to work only in 1946. The tenderness of Jacqueline's bust, enhanced by the tactility of the incisions and simplicity of the brushstrokes, shows the dexterity of the artist's hand in manipulating clay into human form.

Tête de Jacqueline was executed mere months after the artist met his future wife and last muse, Jacqueline Roque, who would go on to be an omnipresent subject of his late œuvre. At 72 years old, Picasso was over thrice Jacqueline’s age when they first met in 1953, but as John Richardson notes, in many ways 'it was her solicitude and patience that sustained the artist in the face of declining health and death and enabled him to be more productive than ever before and to go on working into his ninety-second year' (Marie-Laure Bernadac, Late Picasso, 1953-1972, Painting as Model, 1988, p. 47). Unlike so many of his previous relationships which were characterized by anguish, turbulence, even violence, 'l’époque Jacqueline' was at last a period of domesticity and marital tenderness. It was also a period of formidable energy in terms of Picasso’s artistic output and it is difficult not to see his several hundred romantic depictions of his wife as a continual act of defiance against mortality. In their life together at Mougins, north of Cannes, she was a vital figure in managing the increasingly taxing and unwelcome public demands which came with his international reputation, and she would go on to become an equally protective custodian of his reputation after his death.


Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London