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Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
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Indian ink on cover of the book "Le petit monde de Pablo Picasso" by David Douglas Duncan
28 x 43 cm (11 x 16 ⁷/₈ inches)
Signed upper right, Picasso
Dedicated upper centre, Pour Madame de Sarriac son ami Picasso
Madame de Sarriac, France
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Claude Picasso.
This work is connected to the American photojournalist David Douglas Duncan (1916 – 2018) who was known for his photographs of Pablo Picasso and his wife Jacqueline. He became a close friend of Picasso and was the only person allowed to photograph many of the artist's private paintings. Duncan published seven books of photographs of Picasso including "Le Petit monde de Pablo Picasso" (The Private World of Pablo Picasso) which was the very first publication in 1958. As a token of friendship and trust, Picasso illustrated here the front cover and signed it making it a very personal and touching piece of history.
Perhaps the greatest and most influential modern artist of the twentieth century, Spanish artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born in Málaga in Andalusia, son of an artist and curator with aristocratic roots. Trained by his father, Picasso spent his adolescence in Barcelona before briefly attending the prestigious Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid.
Exceptionally prolific throughout the course of his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary artistic accomplishments; known for co-founding the Cubist movement, inventing constructed sculpture and co-inventing collage. Picasso's work is often categorized into periods, most commonly accepted as the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904-1906), the African Period (1907-1909), Analytical Cubism (1909-12) and Synthetic Cubism (1912-19). Some of his work dating from the 1910s and much dating from the early 1920s were executed in a Neoclassical style. Picasso’s work from the mid-1920s often possesses the characteristics of Surrealism, whilst his later work combines elements of his earlier styles. Among his most famous and iconic works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) inspired by Iberian and African sculpture; and Guernica (1937) a haunting poem on the Fascist bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War.
At the time of Picasso's death many of his paintings were in his possession. In addition, Picasso had a considerable collection of the work of other famous artists, some his contemporaries, such as Henri Matisse with whom he has exchanged works. Since Picasso left no will, his death duties (estate tax) to the French state were paid in the form of his works and others from his collection. It is these works that form the core of the immense and representative collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris. As of 2004, Picasso remained the top-ranked artist (based on sales of his works at auctions) and on 21 June 2016 a painting by Pablo Picasso titled Femme Assise (1909) sold for £43.2 million ($63.4 million) at Sotheby's in London, setting a world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a Cubist work.