ProvenanceLumley Cazalet Ltd., London
Private Collection, London, acquired from the above, 1999
Piasa Paris Auctioneers, Hotel Drouot, Room no. 9, Thursday, June 3, 1999, lot 155 (catalogue of H.M. Petiet print sale)
Private Collection, acquired from the above, 1999
Christie's London: Tuesday, February 28, 2023, Lot 44
Private Collection, acquired from the above sale
LiteratureBloch G (1968), Pablo Picasso: catalogue de l'oeuvre grave et lithographie, Editions Kornfeld. 310
Baer B. & Geiser B (1986-1988), Picasso: peintre graveur...More..., Editions Kornfeld (646.5Ba)
Mallen, Enrique, ed. 1997-2023. (OPP). Online Picasso Project. Sam Houston State University (39:005)
La femme au tambourin (1939) is one of Pablo Picasso’s greatest graphic works. Partially based on compositions by Degas and Poussin, the work exudes a strong Classical presence with a Modernist edge. Thought to be a depiction of Dora Maar, Picasso’s lover at the time, the print is highly coveted by institutional and private collectors. One impression from this edition is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and another is included in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Picasso’s experimentations in printmaking began in the first decade of the 20th century and engaged him for many decades, into the 1970s. In this time, Picasso embraced multiple methods of printmaking, including lithography, etching, aquatint, and linoleum block printing. His earliest prints were, like the present work, intaglio. With La femme au tambourin, Picasso incorporated the additional medium of aquatint, which yielded a watercolor-like effect throughout the composition and an extreme range of tonal qualities. This technique in particular afforded opportunities for expression that could not be found in painting. For his experimental reach and depth of mastery, Picasso’s corpus of graphic work is among the most highly respected and coveted in the history of art, rivaling that of Rembrandt.
Photo of Dora Maar (on the right) next to Pablo Picasso in Antibes by Man Ray, 1937
Pablo and Dora Maar, 1940s
Pablo Picasso in his Cannes studio, 1956. Photograph: Arnold Newman/Getty Images
- Since 1985 the compound annual growth rate for Picasso works is 8.8%.
- This is an incredibly small edition of just 30 impressions, several of which are already in museum collections.
- After the 1950s, Picasso became much more prolific. His works from the extremely prolific 60s and 70s are now achieving new records, and his great works from the 1930s and 40s are virtually unobtainable.
- La femme au tambourin is among the top 15% of Picasso works from this period.
- Cubist works, those from (roughly) 1907 through 1920, are arguably the rarest after the Blue and Rose Period pieces. Works from his Neoclassical period (1930s war period through late 1940s) are not far behind.
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