©Pablo Picasso - Seated female nude 1903

Picasso Seated female nude 1903
Seated female nude
1903 57x45cm Pastel and black crayon on paper
Sotheby's auction house 2015 - LOT SOLD. 12,010,000 USD

« previous picture | 1900s | next picture »

From Sotheby's auction house:
Picasso created this stunning pastel nude in Barcelona in 1903. The year marked the apotheosis of Picasso’s celebrated Blue period (late 1901-1904), and the present work is imbued with a sense of fragility and melancholy that was to become synonymous with this phase of his career. The pictures of the Blue period are often characterized by poignant images of forlorn women and despondent men, often isolated and lost in thought. This was the period when he created some of his most defining works, including Old Guitar Player and Melancholy. This pastel, however, represents an even more fragile aspect of this period in the young artist’s life; when sex, melancholy, loneliness and vulnerability firmly took root in the artist’s psyche and would ultimately shape every successive period of his art for nearly a century.
Picasso’s proclivity for prostitutes during this bacchanalian early phase of his life was well-documented in many of his drawings from this period. Sketches of nude women, either alone or accompanied by the artist in sexual acts, appeared throughout his notebooks. But the beauty of these women and their potential as vehicles for artistic expression was not lost on the young man. Through careful renderings, such as the present pastel, he was able to transform these anonymous women into modern-day allegorical figures such as Tragedy, Melancholy, or Sorrow. The model in the present work could be interpreted as a penitent Magdalene, crouching in shame with her long hair cascading down her body. What is so remarkable here are the nuances of her posture, which captures the hesitancy and vulnerability of this young woman.