Lot Details

Untitled (Madonna and Child)
Lithograph
1956
19.5 x 25.75 in
Ed. 38/150
Plate signed, numbered and dated lower right, Jean Cocteau Estate Stamp with signature of Fernand Mourlo lower left

Les Amoreux
Lithograph
c. 1959
19.5 x 25.75 in
Ed. 38/150
Numbered lower right, Jean Cocteau Estate Stamp with signature of Fernand Mourlo lower left

Festival de Musique de Menton
1956
Lithograph
19.5 x 25.75 in
Ed. 38/150
Plate signed and dated lower right, Jean Cocteau Estate Stamp with signature of Fernand Mourlo lower left

These three lithographs by Jean Cocteau characterize the artist’s diverse approach to printmaking, particularly in imagery and subject matter. The first explores portrayals of mothers and children. The print is dedicated to Michelangelo and juxtaposes a Madonna and Child against a self portrait of the artist with his mother, as well as vignettes of gypsy families which captured his attention during the filming of Le Testament d’Orphee, otherwise known as Cocteau’s “last will and testament”. ‘Les Amoreux’ is a abstracted profile of two lovers, where according to the artist “what is dynamic is not the faces, but the force and energy between the lovers.” Lastly is the print for the ‘Festival de Musique de Menton’, a city which now houses Cocteau’s two museums and most extensive collection of work.

The French artist, filmmaker, poet, dramatist, playwright, and designer Jean Cocteau (1889 – 1963) was an incredibly prolific avant-garde “Renaissance Man,” integral to many highly important developments within Modernism. In addition to his beautiful drawings, Cocteau produced approximately 20 theatrical plays, 11 films, 6 screenplays, 6 novels, and numerous works of poetry and criticism. Cocteau was a close associate of some of the most legendary cultural icons of his time, including Édith Piaf (who starred in his play Le Bel Indifférent), princess Natalie Paley, writer Marcel Proust, poet Guillaume Apollinaire, artists Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani, ballet master Sergei Diaghilev, and musician Erik Satie. After being asked by Diaghilev to write a work for one of his ballets in 1917, Cocteau responded with “Parade”, a collaborative ballet produced by Diaghilev, and also designed by Picasso with music by Erik Satie. With his work as a writer and director of film, Cocteau is widely credited as the father of French New Wave Cinema.

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Centre George Pompidou (Paris, FR)

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Provenance:
  • Purchased from Edourd Dermit, executor of the Jean Cocteau Estate.
  • Pickup Location: California, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 19.5 x 25.75 in. (49.53 x 65.4 cm.)
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