Irving Penn - Photographs London Thursday, November 5, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galleria Photology, Milan
    Private Collection, London

  • Literature

    I. Penn, Moments Preserved, Simon and Schuster, 1960, p. 39
    J. Szarkowski, Irving Penn, Museum of Modern Art, 1984, p. 27, fig. 17
    I. Penn, Passage: A Work Record, Knopf, 1991, p. 125
    C. Westerbeck, ed., Irving Penn: A Career in Photography, The Art Institute of Chicago/ Bulfinch Press, 1997, p. 114
    S. Greenough, Irving Penn: Platinum Prints, National Gallery of Art, Washington/ Yale University Press, 2005, pl. 37
    Irving Penn: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2010, n.p.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Penn's portrait Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, France (1957) captures more than the man and the elaborate embroidery on the collar of his bullfighter's cape. The tight cropping of Picasso's face and deep highlight and shadow across it flatten the image, mirroring the breakdown of the world into shapes Picasso brought about with Cubism. Ironically, that window onto the world that Cubism eventually shattered in painting is literally reflected in Picasso's left eye. It represents not only the world beyond the viewfinder and studio, but also the tool of the current artist at work — the natural, ideally northern, daylight in which Penn preferred to work.

    The Art Institute of Chicago

  • Artist Biography

    Irving Penn

    American • 1917 - 2009

    Arresting portraits, exquisite flowers, luscious food and glamorous models populate Irving Penn's meticulously rendered, masterful prints. Penn employed the elegant simplicity of a gray or white backdrop to pose his subjects, be it a model in the latest Parisian fashion, a famous subject or veiled women in Morocco.

    Irving Penn's distinct aesthetic transformed twentieth-century elegance and style, with each brilliant composition beautifully articulating his subjects. Working across several photographic mediums, Penn was a master printmaker. Regardless of the subject, each and every piece is rendered with supreme beauty. 

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Pablo Picasso at La Californie, Cannes, France

Gelatin silver print, printed before 1965.
56.5 x 56.6 cm (22 1/4 x 22 1/4 in.)
Signed, initialled, titled 'Picasso, Cannes, France, Nov', dated in ink, Condé Nast copyright credit (courtesy Vogue) reproduction limitation, credit and edition stamps on the reverse of the mount. One from an edition of 30.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London Auction 6 November 2015 2pm