Pablo Picasso, Visage Tourmenté (Tormented Face),1956

Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Title:Visage Tourmenté (Tormented Face),1956
Medium:23 K Gold Medallion
Image Size:2in (5cm)
Edition:Numbered from the edition of 20 on verso.
Signature:This work is stamped with the artist's signature 'Picasso', the François and Pierre Hugo reference number '1408', and the goldsmith's mark and a French mark on verso.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-5459

Historical Description

In the 1950’s and 1960’s Picasso collaborated with renowned goldsmith François Victor-Hugo, Victor Hugo’s great-grandson. Together, they created a series of medallions all in gold based after original designs from Picasso. Picasso’s close involvement is evidenced by the way the medallions were made. Each work was hand stamped into moulds, using the repoussé technique, thus linking them closely to their ceramic counterparts which were mould pressed.

Much to Hugo’s dismay, Picasso initially refused to sell these works for profit and instead kept them as private treasures. However Picasso gave in to Hugo’s persistence and in 1967and authorized Hugo to make a small, 'numbered edition’ of each for sale. They were not sold publicly but rather dispatched to their respective buyers and so they attracted almost no publicity, making them quite rare. In fact, few outside of Picasso’s inner circle knew about their existence. Each gold medallion was individually selected, designed and approved by Picasso, revealing the special attachment the artist had towards the medallions.

This image is a splendid adaptation of Picasso’s ceramic work Visage Tourmenté 1956. The amount of detail is the hallmark of the medallion. Each line is deliberately placed to accentuate the dramatic expression of the man’s face. Two protruding dots indicate the man’s eyes, each decorated with lines to illustrate wrinkles. A playful curve below the eyes forms a mischievous smile, hinting he is actually tormented by laughter. The ability to illustrate a wide range of human expressions showcases Picasso’s creative eye.

Created in 1956, this 23K gold medallion is stamped with the artist's signature 'Picasso', the François and Pierre Hugo reference number '1408', and the goldsmith's mark and a French mark on verso. Numbered from the edition of 20 on verso.

It is fully documented and referenced in the below catalogue raisonnés and texts (copies will be enclosed as added documentation with the invoices that will accompany the final sale of the work) :

1.C. Siaud & P. Hugo, Bijoux d'artistes Hommage à François Hugo, Aix-en-Provence, 2001. Listed and illustrated as catalogue raisonné no. 1408.

2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this work.

About the Framing:

Museum grade conservation framed in a complementary moulding with silk mats and optical grade Plexiglas.