Pablo Picasso - Editions Southampton New York Saturday, June 25, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "They lived in a world of his own creation where he reigned almost as a king yet cherished only two treasures – freedom to work and the love of Jacqueline" (Picasso and Jacqueline by David Douglas Duncan, p. 9)

    Pablo Picasso began using the linocut print process in the late 1950s, sixty years after the publication of his first etching. Picasso took inspiration from the masters of European painting, reimagining past traditions and exploring their timeless themes with modern techniques. He interpreted common imagery from artists like Manet, Degas, Goya, and the Old Masters like Cranach and Rembrandt. Using the rich printmaking medium of linocut, he re-explored portraits of women, the reclining female nude, the bullfight, elaborate still lifes, and most notably his second wife and muse Jacqueline Picasso née Roque. Photojournalist and friend to the artist, David Douglas Duncan, wrote in his book Picasso and Jacqueline that Jacqueline never sat and posed for Picasso, he observed her movements and styles and was able to emanate her beauty and grace in his art. Jacqueline continued to make appearances in Picasso’s prints, ceramics, and paintings until his death in 1973. His adoration for her is evident in all his works.

    "Jacqueline’s gift to Pablo – after her total love – seemed to be tranquility" (Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963 by Donald H. Karshan, p. 50)

    Portrait de Jacqueline de Face II, marked a deviation for Picasso from the limitations of printing in monochrome black and white. We see Picasso pay close attention to her features, while also staying true to the Cubist and Surrealist styles he is known for.

     

    Picasso and Jacqueline. 2014 David Douglas Duncan. © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Assisted by printer Hidalgo Arnéra in the South of France, Picasso reworked iconic masterpieces in linocut. The two began working together while creating annual posters for bullfights and ceramic expositions in Vallauris in the late 1930s and early 40s. The two solidified their partnership in 1958 when Picasso relocated to the South of France. Picasso was fascinated by linocut and its immediacy; the ability to carve a sheet of linoleum and have a print soon after. Art historian Donald H. Karshan remarked “The linocut was considered too limited, too unsophisticated a method to be used by mature artists… Until a fortuitous combination of circumstances, and the ravenous aesthetic appetite of Pablo Picasso, turned this innocent technique into an innovation of the first magnitude” (Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963, p. VII). With the use of the linocut, Picasso regained control of his artistic process no longer stymied by the delays of sending etching plates to Paris to proof. Together, Picasso and Arnéra completed over a hundred linocut prints during their decade of collaboration, only ceasing so Picasso could begin his monumental and infamous ‘347’ print series with the Crommelynck brothers.

     

    Pablo Picasso, Portrait de jeune fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune (Portrait of a Young Woman, After Cranach the Younger), 1958 © 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Another iconic portrait by Picasso is his first linocut, Portrait of a Young Woman, After Cranach the Younger, also believed to be of Jaqueline. The print, painterly in nature, expertly shows Picasso’s interest in transforming 16th century masters into abstract and elaborate modern pieces. After completing this portrait, what is considered to be his premier linocut, Picasso invented and began the use of his ‘reduction’ technique which he later used in Portrait de Jacqueline de Face II. Instead of carving a block for each color he intended to print, the artist would instead cut and use one block for the entire edition, carving the linoleum as new colors were added to the print, building up to a finished print. He started with the lightest colors and finished with the darkest giving the print depth, texture, and fluidity. This technique became the preference of Picasso. “He discovered that by printing in strong colors from the same block, after cutting away the unwanted parts, he could overprint more economically and obtain a density of color and texture which gave entirely new possibilities to the process.” (Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work, in Pablo Picasso Experiments in Linogravure, Gagosian Gallery, p. 35). In Picasso’s Portrait de Jacqueline de Face II, he depicts his wife in lush layers of brown separated by think black ink lines. Printing in relief allowed Picasso to explore new colors and textures in his works, which is exemplified in this portrait of Jacqueline.

    • Provenance

      Evelyn Aimis Fine Art, Highland Beach, Florida
      Private Collection, Florida, acquired from the above in 1995

    • Literature

      Georges Bloch 1063
      Brigitte Baer 1280

    • Artist Biography

      Pablo Picasso

      Spanish • 1881 - 1973

      One of the most dominant and influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was a master of endless reinvention. While significantly contributing to the movements of Surrealism, Neoclassicism and Expressionism, he is best known for pioneering the groundbreaking movement of Cubism alongside fellow artist Georges Braque in the 1910s. In his practice, he drew on African and Iberian visual culture as well as the developments in the fast-changing world around him.

      Throughout his long and prolific career, the Spanish-born artist consistently pushed the boundaries of art to new extremes. Picasso's oeuvre is famously characterized by a radical diversity of styles, ranging from his early forays in Cubism to his Classical Period and his later more gestural expressionist work, and a diverse array of media including printmaking, drawing, ceramics and sculpture as well as theater sets and costumes designs. 

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Portrait de Jacqueline de face II (Portrait of Jacqueline from the Front II) (B. 1063, Ba. 1280)

1962
Linocut in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 25 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. (64.1 x 52.7 cm)
S. 29 5/8 x 24 3/8 in. (75.2 x 61.9 cm)

Signed and annotated 'Epreuve d'artiste' (one of 20 artist's proofs, the edition was 50), published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1963, framed.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $138,600

Contact Specialist

[email protected]

212 940 1220

Editions Southampton

New York Auction 25 June 2022