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Pablo Picasso | Watercolors

In the spring of 1932, Picasso had retired to the Château de Boisgeloup, his studio-retreat in Normandy, in the company of his new mistress and principal muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter. It was his time spent at Boisgeloup that provided the inspiration for the present work.

In "Nature morte à la tête classique et au bouquet de fleurs", Picasso has subverted the traditional embodied interaction of artist and model - a theme that came to symbolize his own life and work most evocatively - and replaced these lead roles with sculpted avatars.
In place of the artist is a large, bearded neoclassical head, while the model is substituted by a bas-relief sculpture affixed to the wall above a bouquet of flowers, echoing the graceful profile of Marie-Thérèse Walter.
Haunted by the absence of his mistress who had remained in Paris, Picasso re-created her image from memory.

Pablo Picasso | Nature morte à la tête classique et au bouquet de fleurs, 1933 | Sothebys

"This magnificent work represents the pinnacle of Picasso’s artistic powers: the color is remarkably vibrant and saturated; it exemplifies one of his most celebrated periods, in the 1930s during his entanglement with Marie-Thérèse Walter and the trajectory that she inspired in his art; and is a wondrous encapsulation of his Surrealist period".

During his sojourn in Cannes in the summer of 1933, Picasso did not create a single painting. Instead, his energy focused almost entirely on one of the most accomplished groups of gouaches and watercolors of his entire artistic production.
The artist’s personal life was in disarray - his wife Olga was distraught about both his blossoming relationship with Marie-Thérèse and the publication of his former lover, Fernande Olivier’s memoirs which cast Picasso in an unfavorable light - while his professional life, after his first large-scale museum exhibition in 1932, was reaching new heights.
Such an unending amount of change, both personal and professional, found its escape with this series of works that live in a dreamlike plane, evoking influences of ethereal classicism and Greek legends such as that of Pygmalion and Persephone. | Source: © Sotheby's

Durante il suo soggiorno a Cannes nell'estate del 1933, Picasso non realizzò un solo dipinto.
Invece, la sua energia si è concentrata quasi interamente su uno dei gruppi di gouaches ed acquerelli più completi della sua intera produzione artistica. La vita personale dell'artista era allo sbando - sua moglie Olga era sconvolta sia dalla sua relazione sbocciata con Marie-Thérèse sia dalla pubblicazione del suo ex amante, le memorie di Fernande Olivier che gettavano Picasso in una luce sfavorevole - mentre la sua vita professionale, dopo il suo primo grande -esposizione museale in scala nel 1932, stava raggiungendo nuove vette.
Una tale quantità infinita di cambiamenti, sia personali che professionali, ha trovato sfogo in questa serie di opere che vivono su un piano onirico, evocando influenze di etereo classicismo e leggende greche come quella di Pigmalione e Persefone. | Fonte: Sotheby's