Sotheby’s to sell Pablo Picasso ceramics
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
The playful works he created in the region over the course of two decades, figures of animals and people sculpted out of clay, represent a critical period in Picasso’s late career.Sotheby’s of London has announced the auction of a private collection of over 100 ceramics by Pablo Picasso, to take place on March 19. These striking plates, bowls and vases, transformed by Picasso into owls, goats, men, women, bulls and fishes, and produced at the renowned Madoura pottery studio, represent the full scope of the artist’s experimentation with the art form.
The individual pieces range from around £2,000 to £30,000. Picasso stunned the art world when, in 1947, as one of the most famous western artists, and approaching 65 years of age, he absconded from post-war Paris to undertake an apprenticeship at the then little-known Madoura pottery studio in Vallauris, in the rural south of France.
The playful works he created in the region over the course of two decades, figures of animals and people sculpted out of clay, represent a critical period in Picasso’s late career when he sought to further immortalize his place in the history of art. Pottery, one of the oldest of all art forms, had been produced in Vallauris since Roman times; by mastering this traditional craft he sought to join the long history of artisans who had worked in the area.
The years Picasso spent in the region are understood to have been among the happiest of his life. At Madoura, he met his future wife and famed muse, Jacqueline Roque, who was to remain his partner for over 20 years until his death in 1973. During his first year at the studio, Picasso and his then-lover Françoise Gilot welcomed a son, Claude, who shared his name with the Patron Saint of Potters. The auction at Sotheby’s coincides with a major exhibition currently showing at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona (Museu Picasso), a display of ceramics donated to the museum by Picasso’s wife Jacqueline, entitled “Picasso Ceramics: Jacqueline’s Gift to Barcelona.” Alongside the ceramics, the single-owner auction will include a selection of major prints by Picasso, Joan Miró and Andy Warhol.