Pablo Picasso, ‘Fragment de corps de femme’, ca. 1931, Fairhead Fine Art Limited

Note 1: On the Editioning:: This is a very complex series and there were several editions struck from the uncancelled plate without remorques. The plates were later cancelled, in 1931, remorques added and an edition of 100 made from which this comes.
Note 2 : On the History of the Series: This was made as an illustration for “Les Metamorphoses” by Publius Ovidus Naso (Known to us as OVID). Albert Skira has founded a publishing house in Lausanne in 1928 and contacted Picasso with a view to having a book illustrated by him. As a result of discussions between Picasso and Pierre Matisse (The painters son) it was decided that the book concerned should be “Les Metamorphoses” by Ovid. This was a subject which fascinated Picasso since it dealt with a whimsical incident in which women were transformed into fish. The original work was written in hexametric verse and is considered a classic from the ancient world. Skira copied the French version suggesting that Picasso should make 15 etchings to be included within the book. Picasso delayed a long while but eventually went on to create a total of 30 etchings. These, unusually, generally kept to the subject matter of the Roman poets words. Picasso employed a style of classicism interpreted in pure contours with subtle eroticism. The artist was newly celebrating his 50th birthday at this time. He had also recently met his new young mistress, Marie Therese Walter and installed her in an apartment just a few hundred yards away from the marital home in rue La Boete, Paris. This new affair thrilled the artist and illustrations of his new love abound in the series of the Metamorphoses. A later facsimile edition of this work was made in 1973 in a smaller format (280 x 220 mms) and this is readily identifiable due to it’s size.
Note 3: On the subject matter: Ovid's famous work deals with classical stories and myths and this is a typical Classical subject
Printed by: Roger Lacourier, Paris, France

Series: Les Metamorphoses d' Ovide

Publisher: Albert Skira

Brigitte Baer (Picasso Peintre-Graveur - Volume 1: Catalogue Raisonne de L’Oeuvre Grave et Lithographie et des Monotypes 1899 - 1931 - Volume 1) Reference Ba 169
Georges Bloch (Catalogue de l’oeuvre grave et lithographe 1904 - 1967) - Volume 1 Reference : 125
Cramer (Patrick Cramer “Pablo Picasso: The Illustrated Books, Geneva 1983) - Reference 19

About Pablo Picasso

A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. “Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.

Spanish, 1881-1973, Malaga, Spain, based in Paris and Mougins, France