Pablo Picasso, Petite Chouette (Little Wood-Owl), 1949


Picasso Little Wood-Owl

Signed Pablo Picasso Ceramic, Petite Chouette (Little Wood-Owl), 1949

Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Title: Petite Chouette (Little Wood-Owl), 1949

Reference: Ramié 82

Medium: Madoura white earthenware clay turned pitcher with decoration in engobes (blue) and glaze

Image Size: DIMENSIONS: 5 1/2 in x 5 1/8 in (14 cm x 13 cm)

Edition: From the edition of 200; this example is an early variant in color with sgraffito decoration.

Signature: This work is stamped with the ‘MADOURA PLEIN FEU’ and ‘EDITION PICASSO’ pottery stamps on the underside.

Condition: This work is in excellent condition.

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Historical Description of this artwork


Pablo Picasso Ceramic Petite Chouette (Little Wood-Owl), 1949 is small, but powerful offering from Pablo Picasso’s oeuvre in Madoura pottery. The miniature earthenware vessel transforms into this friendly avian with an almost spherical body. With its utilitarian form, Picasso embraces the classic components of a pitcher: the spout, the handle, the base, and the body, in ways that are both visually interesting and true to form. The base and spout of the turned pitcher animate the Picasso Petite Chouette further, with these forms providing a place for the owl’s pointed talons and distinct beak. Meanwhile the pitched handle provides another decorative element. The exterior of the ceramic has a matte finish, allowing Picasso’s graceful linework to be first and foremost. However, the interior, which may be missed at first glance, is glazed. The glazing of the inside of the pitcher hints at the dual functionality of the sculpture as a water container, and also adds a subtle surprise of contrast in both texture and color.

A rare and exceptional piece, this ceramic features sgraffito decoration, a technique of pottery decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of contrasting color. Picasso draws the features of this little owl with whimsical patterns and a careful attention to the beautiful form of the ceramic vase.  The small vase measures just above five inches, which is likely near life-size to the pet owl which accompanied animal-loving artist in his studio.

Created in 1949, this Madoura white earthenware clay turned pitcher with decoration in engobes (blue) and glaze inside is stamped with the ‘MADOURA PLEIN FEU’ and ‘EDITION PICASSO’ pottery stamps on the underside. From the edition of 200, this example is an early variant in color with sgraffito decoration.

CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ & COA:
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Little Wood-Owl (Petite Chouette), 1949 is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices accompanying the final sale of the work):

1.  Ramié, Alain. Picasso Catalogue of the edited ceramic works 1947-1971. Madoura: 1988. This work is a variant of the ceramic listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 82.

2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

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The Certificate of Authenticity accompanies this work, guaranteeing its authenticity for as long as you own it.

All catalogue raisonné and historical documentation is included with your purchase.

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Why Picasso?

Picasso revolutionized the art world and to many is THE artist of the 20th century. He is famous for his role in pioneering Cubism with Georges Braque and for his melancholy Blue Period pieces. Picasso original signed lithographs and prints are a sure investment. Picasso Madoura ceramics are highly collectible in their own right.

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Artistic Styles of Picasso

Cubism, Blue Period, Rose Period, 20th Century Spanish Modern Master, Madoura ceramics of Vallauris, Vollard

Pablo Picasso Complete Biography

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Masterworks Fine Art

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Pablo Picasso Lithographs, Etchings, and Ceramics
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

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.”

As one of the most influential Modern artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso is renowned as a legendary artistic master to this day. Born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, Pablo Picasso 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.

Picasso 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 Edouard Manet, Gustave Courbet, and Henri de 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. These distinguished styles are apparent in Picasso’s unique original works as well as his ceramics, lithographs, linocuts, and etchings that he created later in his life.

The Blue Period dates from 1901 to 1904 and is characterized by a predominantly blue palette and focuses on outcasts, beggars, and prostitutes. This was when he also produced his first sculptures. The most poignant work of the style, La Vie (1903), currently located in Cleveland’s Museum of Art, was created in memory of his childhood friend, the Spanish poet Carlos 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.

The Rose Period began around 1904 when Picasso’s palette brightened and is 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 Family of Saltimbanques (1905), currently in Washington, D.C. at the National Gallery, 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 female figures seen frontally or in distinct profile, as in early Greek art. One of the best examples of this style is in the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY, La Toilette (1906). Several pieces in this new, classical style were purchased by Gertrude Stein (the art patron and writer) and her brother, Leo Stein.

With his groundbreaking 1907 painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Picasso, along with Georges Braque, developed a revolutionary style of modern art that was formed in response to the rapidly changing modern world: Cubism. He simplified and distorted figures and objects into geometric planes, often including elements of text and collage in his works.

Picasso enjoyed creating his art in many different artistic mediums throughout his life and, in due time, became a master in each medium. From paintings to ceramics to lithographs, etchings, and linocuts, all of his works are a testament to his artistic skills. There are even hand signed Picasso prints that are worth more than unique original works.

Picasso Lithographs


In the mid 1900’s, Picasso sought out lithograph medium and had such a respect for the craft and curiosity for the material that he became dedicated to creating masterpieces in the medium. “He looked, he listened, he did the opposite of what he had learnt- and it worked,” Mourlot, the famous publisher and printer, once said of Picasso’s skills with lithographs.
It worked because he tried to understand from his very first time the real nature of lithography. His lithographs comprise a significant portion of his artistic oeuvre which comprises of over 20,000 works and serve as Picasso’s enduring legacy. His graphic works in general are highly collectible as they are 61% of all of his works bought on the market and in 2012 sold for more than $40 million just in public sells, and one work Green Haired Woman (1949) sold for over $500,000 in 2003.

Picasso Etchings


Picasso was a master of many print mediums aside from lithography, creating etchings and linocuts that also fulfilled his artistic vision. Picasso’s original, hand-signed etchings highlight his masterful use of line and shadow. From his renowned series of etchings in the Vollard Suite (1933) to his more colorful etching and aquatints such as Le Faune (1958) and Bacchanale (c. 1955), Picasso’s hand-signed etchings display his remarkable ability to convey a rich sense of expression and atmosphere, exemplifying his mastery of the etching medium. One such etching, La femme qui pleure, 1937 sold for $5.1 million in 2011.

Picasso Linocuts


In addition to his etchings, Picasso’s original, hand-signed linocuts exemplify his immense innovation and talent as a printmaker. Picasso pioneered the linocut medium during his time spent living in Vallauris in the 1940s and 1950s, where he experimented with the material of linoleum to create linocut prints. Bold yet minimal coloration and sharp juxtapositions define his linocut imagery. Often composed of rich, dark tones and opaque shapes, Picasso’s hand-signed linocuts display a rich sense of texture, contrast, precision, and animation. One such work,
Buste de femme d’après Cranach le Jeune, 1958 sold for over $550,000 in 2008.

Picasso Ceramics


In the summer of 1946, Picasso met Madoura potters Georges and Suzanne Ramie who presented him with the opportunity to create ceramics at the Madoura Pottery Studio. It was here that Picasso experimented in the ceramics medium, creating original ceramics of varied shapes, colors, and sizes that convey a range of subjects and designs. Delighted with the malleable nature of clay as a medium and the varied textural effects of the different patinas and glazes, Picasso created ceramics in a multitude of forms such as plates, pitchers, plaques, and vases. His imagery highlighted mythological and classical elements and often included portraits, bullfighting, nature, and landscapes. Picasso immersed himself in ceramics from 1946-1948, creating ceramic works in set editions, much as he would create his print editions. However, each work was cast and hand-painted at the Madoura studio and retains its own subtle charm.

After a long and prolific career, Picasso passed away on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France, leaving behind a vast and extensive body of work that further validates his status as a brilliant artist and master. Loved and admired around the world, Picasso’s artworks are a symbol of creativity and ingenuity. Ranging from paintings, ceramics, glass, lithographs, linocuts and etchings, everything Picasso created from Cubism to Modern Art inspired and influenced every artist who worked alongside him and after him.

View our collection of Picasso ceramics  »

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