Pablo Picasso - Trois femmes au chapeaux (recto/ verso)
Lot 6AR
Pablo Picasso
(1881-1973)
Trois femmes au chapeau (recto); Femme au chapeau (verso)
Sold for £ 68,750 (US$ 89,572) inc. premium

Lot Details
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE PORTUGUESE COLLECTION
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Trois femmes au chapeau (recto); Femme au chapeau (verso)
charcoal and pastel on paper (recto); charcoal on paper (verso)
31.6 x 21.4cm (12 7/16 x 8 7/16in).
Executed in 1899

Footnotes

  • The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by Monsieur Claude Picasso.

    Provenance
    Succession Picasso, Paris, no. 252.
    Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, by 1980.
    Private collection, Switzerland.
    Galerie Marwan Hoss, Paris.
    Private collection, Lisbon (acquired from the above in 2002).

    In 1899, having dismissed his tutelage at Madrid's prestigious Real Academia in favour of roaming the museums for Spain's Old Masters such as Velásquez, Goya and the particularly influential El Greco, Picasso returned to Barcelona. The young artist immediately immersed himself in the more experimental and forward-thinking art scene; it was here that he joined the modernistas, a circle of young avant-garde artists that frequented a local tavern, Els Quatre Gats. Together, in this centre of artistic expression, they assimilated international trends such as Symbolism and eagerly explored the French Art Nouveau. They drew inspiration from artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and his simple yet magnificent depictions of the Moulin Rouge and Parisian theatrical life by which he was surrounded.

    Similarly, from an early age Picasso had also utilised his surroundings as the stimulation for his art. He studied the lives of the local people of Barcelona, the fishermen, passers-by and friends, and sketched scenes from daily life in the city. The three ladies of Spain depicted in the present work are very much a classic theme for Picasso's early oeuvre; much of the importance of the work, however, lies in the subtleties of its execution.

    Created in a period of intense activity for Picasso, Trois femmes au chapeau is a beautiful example of the early shifts in style that subsequently led to the monumental Blue and Rose Periods only a few years later. We can see the traditional training received from his father and tutoring at art school through his skilful depiction of the human form whilst incorporating delicate streaks of coloured pastel. Simultaneously Picasso utilises the dark, heavy, less tightly defined strokes of the charcoal, outlining the figures and modernising the style. The chiaroscuro-esque combination of the bold lines and large unmarked areas of white paper create a wonderful depth to the image, all truly exhibiting the pure quality and draughtsmanship of the young artist. The minimal construction of the central figure's facial features calls on Picasso's interest in the cartoons he had seen in the newspapers of the time, in addition to the graphic projects that emphasised a more linear style, excluding content with supple contour lines and simplified shapes. This work is a truly charming piece from a most exciting period for one of art's great prodigies. As John Richardson observed of this critical period, 'it reveals an astonishingly rapid advance not just in acuity of observation and technique but in drama and style. Everything has more of an edge to it' (J. Richardson, A Life of Picasso, Vol. I, 1881-1906, London, 1991, p. 109).
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