Pablo Picasso, Les Saltimbanques (The Acrobats), 1922
|Artist:||Picasso, Pablo (1881 - 1973), After|
|Title:||Les Saltimbanques (The Acrobats), 1922|
Original color etching & aquatint
|Image Size:||23 1/4 in x 16 3/8 in (59 cm x 41.6 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||approx. 26 3/8 in x 19 1/16 in (67 cm x 48.4 cm)|
|Framed Size:||43 3/4 in x 36 3/8 in (111.1 cm x 92.4 cm)|
|Signed:||Hand signed by Pablo Picasso (Malaga, 1881 - Mougins, 1973) in pencil in the lower right margin with signature and date in the plate in the lower right, 'Picasso 1905'.|
|Edition:||Numbered in pencil in the lower left margin 146/200 (from the edition of 200).|
|Condition:||This work is in excellent condition, the colors are bold and rich; with a clearly defined plate mark all around.|
|Gallery Price: |
|SOLD. Please visit the rest of our Picasso fine art collection|
|Historical Description of This Work:|
Engraved in 1922 by Jacques Villon after an original oil on canvas made in 1905 by Pablo Picasso; hand signed by Pablo Picasso (Malaga, 1881 - Mougins, 1973) in pencil in the lower right margin with signature and date in the plate in the lower right, 'Picasso 1905'. This work is numbered in pencil in the lower left margin 146/200 from the total edition of 200 published by Bernheim-Jeune, Paris.
Placed against a flattened background, the two central figures appear as tenuous individuals with dramatic sunken eyes and far off gazes. The artist surrounds his figures with a sense of mystery placing them against a briefly described landscape comprised of a brick construction and grassy knolls. The younger figure stands with his arm behind his back, relaying a sense of discomfort and uncertainty. This younger figure pats the dog's head almost aimlessly, as if to gain a sense of reassurance in this time of incertitude. Though standing right next to each other, each saltimbanque appears lost in his old world. Their eyes do not on a particular object but strongly suggest that each is consumed in his own internal thought process, as if pondering his next move. The desolate background with a loosely delineated structure to the left further contributes to this feeling that the figures are isolated, both from society and perhaps from each other, suggesting that their companionship might be one based on necessity rather than true camaraderie.
Dominated by a vaporous blue tonality, this image figures into Picasso's early studies of the Harlequin figure typifying the artist's blue period. The facial sensitivity of the figures displays the artist's adept ability as a portraitist while the experimentation with tonality foreshadows the artist's later development of the cubist style.
"Roland Penros indicates that the figure of the Harlequin reappears constantly throughout Picasso's artistic life. For his part Andre Fermigier maintains that the Harlequin was, for him a symbol of the theatre, of disguise, of "l'illusion comique." Other critics have also indicated that this recurrence comes from Picasso's obsessive interest in theatre and circus characters. For other writers, the Harlequin represents his longing for liberty, liberation from forms and even his dissatisfaction" (Rodrigo, 1475).
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|Style:||Cubism, Blue Period, Rose Period, 20th Century Spanish Modern Master, Madoura ceramics of Vallauris|
Pablo Picasso Biography
"Yet Cubism and Modern art weren't either scientific or intellectual; they were visual and came from the eye and mind of one of the greatest geniuses in art history. Pablo Picasso, born in Spain, was a child prodigy who was recognized as such by his art-teacher father, who ably led him along. The small Museo de Picasso in Barcelona is devoted primarily to his early works, which include strikingly realistic renderings of casts of ancient sculpture.
"He was a rebel from the start and, as a teenager, began to frequent the Barcelona cafes where intellectuals gathered. He soon went to Paris, the capital of art, and soaked up the works of Manet, Gustave Courbet, and Toulouse-Lautrec, whose sketchy style impressed him greatly. Then it was back to Spain, a return to France, and again back to Spain - all in the years 1899 to 1904.
"Before he struck upon Cubism, Picasso went through a prodigious number of styles - realism, caricature, the Blue Period, and the Rose Period. The Blue Period dates from 1901 to 1904 and is characterized by a predominantly blue palette and subjects focusing on outcasts, beggars, and prostitutes. This was when he also produced his first sculptures. The most poignant work of the style is in Cleveland's Museum of Art, La Vie (1903), which was created in memory of a great childhood friend, the Spanish poet Casagemas, who had committed suicide. The painting started as a self-portrait, but Picasso's features became those of his lost friend. The composition is stilted, the space compressed, the gestures stiff, and the tones predominantly blue. Another outstanding Blue Period work, of 1903, is in the Metropolitan, The Blind Man's Meal. Yet another example, perhaps the most lyrical and mysterious ever, is in the Toledo Museum of Art, the haunting Woman with a Crow (1903).
"The Rose Period began around 1904 when Picasso's palette brightened, the paintings dominated by pinks and beiges, light blues, and roses. His subjects are saltimbanques (circus people), harlequins, and clowns, all of whom seem to be mute and strangely inactive. One of the premier works of this period is in Washington, D.C., the National Gallery's large and extremely beautiful Family of Saltimbanques dating to 1905, which portrays a group of circus workers who appear alienated and incapable of communicating with each other, set in a one-dimensional space.
"In 1905, Picasso went briefly to Holland, and on his return to Paris, his works took on a classical aura with large male and fernale figures seen frontally or in distinct profile, almost like early Greek art. One of the best of these of 1906 is in the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, La Toilette. Several pieces in this new style were purchased by Gertrude (the art patron and writer) and her brother, Leo Stein.
Picasso enjoyed creating his art on many media. From paintings to etchings to ceramics, all of his works are a testament to his skills. There are even Picasso prints that are worth more than unique original works.
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Artistic Styles of Picasso
Cubism, Blue Period, Rose Period, 20th Century Spanish Modern Master, Madoura ceramics of Vallauris
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