More than 50 original pieces of pottery by Pablo Picasso are being auctioned at Christie’s. The lot contains plates, vessels, glazed tiles and terracottas made by the brilliant Andalusian artist. These works will be able to be acquired the upcoming November 11th in the Christie’s sale room in South Kensington, London. They will be part of an auction dedicated to impressionist and modern art, with paintings by the likes of Andre Derain, Carlos Nadal and Jean Cocteau also to be sold.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso is one of the most important Spaniards ever. His huge figure is far too often unfairly diminished to the creator of cubism, or, at best, to his pictorial side. His career as a sculptor is ignored more often than not despite works like Head of a Woman, which was sold for 29.1 million dollars. Picasso’s versatily offers in his ceramics aesthetic possibilities that could not find in other materials.
Picasso started flirting with pottery during the very first years of the twentieth century, when he met the sculptor Paco Durrio in Paris. It was not until the 1920s that he took up again the ceramic, working with Jean Van Dongen, but his most fruitful time was still to come. It was 1947 when Picasso moved to Vallauris, in the Côte d’Azur. Picasso, not a young man anymore at 66, fell in love again with the materials and proceedings of the ceramic. He started working on it vigorously and became outstandingly prolific, and did not abandon ceramic until the end of his life.
The 57 ceramic pieces on auction were made between 1947 and 1964, during his spells in Vallauris. Although the most valuable works are unique creations, Christie’s is also selling limited editions. These replicas are due to the contract signed by Picasso and the Madoura workshop. Apart from the ceramics, other five objects are being auctioned: a black lacquer lighter with the artist’s engraving looks specially remarkable. The art of bullfighting is often repeated in the lot, something logical according to Picasso’s passion for it.
The most expensive piece is a glazed terracotta tile with paintings on both sides, with an estimated value at 30.000-50.000£. Even though, for an amount around 700 or 800£, you can acquire one of the exquisite glazed ceramic plates, a Picasso after all.