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Lithograph by Pablo PicassoÊon cream colored heavy archival paper ÒTITLEÓÊfrom the very rare Vollard Suite portfolio; (Bolliger 1956) signed. ÊThis piece was originally housed loose (unbound) in the portfolio. A rare complete La Vollard Suite was sold by Christie's for over one million dollars in 2012.
An in-house certificate of authenticity is provided; guaranteed as described. This beautiful work is in excellent age appropriate condition and is professionally gallery framed.
Pablo PicassoÕsÊVollard SuiteÊrepresents a major landmark inÊPicassoÕsÊextensive and prosperous career as a printmaker. Comprised of 100 etchings created in the neoclassical style, theÊVollard SuiteÊoffers us a rare glimpse into PicassoÕs brilliant artistic psyche.ÊÊNamed after its publisher, renowned art dealer and criticÊAmbroise Vollard, theÊVollard Suite etchingsÊremains PicassoÕs most celebrated graphic series to date.
PicassoÕs work on theÊVollard SuiteÊspans a seven-year period, from 1930-1937.Ê However, it was not until 1934, when Picasso asked to buy aÊRenoirÊandÊCezanneÊfrom VollardÕs private collection, which a deal was struck between the two men Ð Picasso would create a series of 100 etchings and hand over the publishing rights to Vollard in exchange for the Renoir and Cezanne paintings. As Vollard had already published PicassoÕs first etched seriesÊThe SaltimbanquesÊ(Bloch 1-15) in 1914-1915 to great acclaim, he was eager to collaborate with Picasso on another series ofÊPicasso etchings.
Picasso created 97 etchings from 1930-1936 and added three additional Êetched portraits of Ambroise Vollard to complete theÊVollard SuiteÊin 1937. The PicassoÊVollard SuiteÊedition was printed on Montval paper made with a specially designed ÔVollardÕ signature watermark. The complete edition was comprised of 300 sets, of which 250 sets were on smaller format paper (approximately 13 3/8 in x 17 _ in) and 50 sets were on larger format paper (approximately 15 _ in x 19 _ in). In addition, 3 sets were created on vellum and an additional set of printerÕs proofs was gifted to PicassoÕs master printer and close friend Roger Lacouriere. Picasso signed all of the etchings within theÊVollard SuiteÊin the plate so that each work within the series bears the printed signature of Picasso.
Stylistically, the majority of the images within the PicassoÊVollard SuiteÊreflect the neoclassical phase of PicassoÕs work, which was greatly influenced by his travels to Rome, Florence, Naples and Pompeii. Thematically, theÊVollard SuiteÊcontains several interwoven themes, such as the sculptor in his studio and the Minotaur. The predominant theme in the PicassoÊVollard SuiteÊis the sculptor in his studio, a theme that has biographical implications for Picasso. He explores this theme in 46 etchings, nearly half of the works within the suite. In 1931, Picasso purchased a sculpture workshop in the Chateau du Boisgeloup, around 50 miles outside of Paris. Many of hisÊVollard SuiteÊworks were inspired by sculptures that he created in this workshop in the French countryside. These Picasso etchings address this theme depict the artist as a classical hero, bearded and nude with an ivy crown upon his head. A beautiful model and muse who bears a great similarity to PicassoÕs lover Marie-Therese Walter often accompanies him within these works. The intimate model, or the model asleep, was a common motif at the time of PicassoÕs relationship with Marie-ThŽrse Walter. From 1927-1937, Picasso payed homage to his beautiful, young mistress in a range of artistic works. With her oval face, Roman nose, and short, cropped hair, her likeness is apparent in the female figures within theÊVollard Suite.ÊMultiple etchings within this suite convey the sculptor and his model lounging together in the sculptorÕs studio, peacefully contemplating the sculptorÕs work.
In addition to his depictions of the sculptor in his studio, Picasso created a range of works for theÊVollard SuiteÊthat addresses the theme of the Minotaur, a mythological creature that is half man, half bull. Like the sculptor in his studio, the theme of the Minotaur also has biographical undertones, serving as an artistic alter ego for the great artist. Throughout the series, the Minotaur transforms from a kind and gentle lover to a rapist and devourer of women, perhaps reflecting PicassoÕs turbulent relationships with his lover Marie-Therese Walter and his wife at the time Olga Khokhlova.
The gradually decline of the Minotaur is apparent in striking works such asÊWounded Minotaur VI,Êin which the Minotaur falls to his knees before a crowd of indifferent onlookers. As the series progresses, the Minotaur undergoes a third transformation- he becomes blind and impotent, wandering the night led by a little girl with features similar to that of Marie-Therese. Stunning works such asÊBlind Minotaur Guided by a Girl through the NightÊhighlight this powerful imagery. Suggestive of tragedy and suffering, these concluding works were perhaps influenced by the increasingly dark political situation in Europe during the 1930s as well as by PicassoÕs own fear of blindness.
Pablo PicassoÕsÊVollard SuiteÊis a remarkable achievement in the graphic arts that offers great insight into PicassoÕs turbulent and passionate personal life. As Michael Taylor, director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College states, ÒThe Vollard Suite functions as a visual diary of the artistÕs creative thinking and preoccupations during a pivotal moment in his career. These works illustrate the two worlds to which Picasso owed allegiance at this time, namely the harmony and order of classical art and the surrealist world of dreams and the imaginationÓ (Dartmouth College, 2013).