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Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973)
LOT ID: 80622
Grey Engraved Pitcher, 1954

Decorative Objects, Tableware, Flatware, and Serveware, Partially Glazed Ceramic Pitcher
11.25 х 10 х 7 in. (28.58 x 25.4 x 17.78 cm.)
Inscribed, "EDITION PICASSO MADOURA"; with "MADOURA PLEIN FEU" and "EDITION PICASSO" pottery stamps on underside
Print/Casting Year 1954
Edition of 500
Lot description
Pitcher is 11.25 inches (28.6 cm) tall and 10 inches (25.4 cm) wide, including handle. Base is 7 inches (17.8 cm) in diameter. In very good condition, with no chips, cracks or signs of repair.

Made of white earthenware clay, this partially glazed pitcher by Pablo Picasso has an elegant grey patina, and is painted in white and black over bold, stylized knife engravings. The pitcher is edged and collared in white, with white stripes banding the handle and running vertically down the pitcher's back from collar to base. The piece comes from a limited edition of 500 produced at the Madoura ceramics workshop in Vallauris, France, with which Picasso collaborated extensively from 1946 onward.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century, has been celebrated for his prolific and innovative career working in several modernist idioms, as well as for co-founding Cubism. Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain, and began drawing and painting at an early age under the influence of his father, an academic painter. He later studied art in Barcelona and often frequented the café Els Quatre Gats, where he first began exhibiting his paintings. Picasso first visited Paris in 1900 for the World’s Fair before moving there in 1904. Early on, Picasso painted many scenes of laborers and the poor, during what is termed his “Blue Period. Later, during his “Rose Period,” he shifted his focus to acrobats and circus performers. In 1907, inspired by African aesthetics, Picasso made his first significant foray into Cubism and into modernism with his monumental painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which featured a scene of five nudes painted with distorted, angular forms and faces resembling African masks. Alongside fellow artist Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963), Picasso further developed Cubism, a new style in which artists attempted to capture multiple views of an object simultaneously, abstracting the subject matter in the process. Picasso and Braque also experimented with collage in their Cubist works, incorporating wallpaper, newspaper, and other materials into their canvases. Towards the 1920s, Picasso returned to more representational works, depicting classical figures and landscapes while dividing his time between Paris and Barcelona. Later in the decade, he began communicating with Surrealist artists, such as his friend Julio Gonzalez (Spanish, 1876-1942). His work reflected the biomorphic forms and bright hues characteristic of the movement, though he always remained separated from the Surrealist circle. Deeply affected by the Spanish Civil War, Picasso painted his monumental work Guernica in 1937; the painting would become famous for its poignant depictions of the anguish and destruction of war. In the mid-1940s, Picasso fully settled in Paris, later moving to Mougins, France, where he created an astounding number of paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, and works on paper over the following decades. Retrospectives of Picasso’s work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Musée Picasso in Paris; the National Gallery in London; and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, among many others. In 1973, Picasso died in Mougins, at the age of 92.

Selected Public Collections:
Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
Musée Picasso, Paris, France
Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Portrait Gallery, London, England
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
  • Grey Engraved Pitcher by Pablo Picasso
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