Pablo Picasso, ‘La famille de Piero Crommelynck’, Executed on September 19-1970, Phillips

This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Claude Picasso.

From the Catalogue:
A playful and inventive masterwork, Pablo Picasso’s La famille de Piero Crommelynck depicts the legendary master printmaker Piero Crommelynck with his wife and daughter, a family with which Picasso was close throughout the 1960s and until the artist’s death in 1973. Drawn with a sense of energetic virtuosity in graphite, the present lot demonstrates the talents of Picasso as an expert draughtsman. Articulated with subtly indicated facial expressions and the intimately interior space, with its built-up areas of decorative pattern, the drawing exhibits the brilliance of Picasso as both storyteller and portraitist.

Picasso met Crommelynck in printmaker Roger Lacourière’s atelier while working on his Suite Vollard. Later, in the 1960s, the Crommelynck family moved to Mougins, close to Picasso’s villa Notre-Dame-de-vie where he was living at this time. During these years, Crommelynck and his brother Aldo provided Picasso with the copper plates that he would use in his Trois cent quarante-sept gravures, La Célestine and the final Cent cinquante-six gravures graphic series. Crommelynck’s portrait can be found in a number of drawings and prints executed by Picasso during this time; however, the present lot is unique in its depiction of the master printer and his family. In La famille de Piero Crommelynck, he is depicted looking over at his wife and daughter, rendered with his characteristic goatee. His wife looks adoringly back at him, while his daughter maintains eye contact with the viewer via a simple smile. The gaze of Picasso’s subjects imbues the work with a sense of energy characteristic of the artist’s masterpieces on paper.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: dated "19.9.70" upper left

Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen; Stuttgart Staatsgalerie, Picassos Welt der Kinder, September 9, 1995 - March 10, 1996, pl. 179, p. 255 (illustrated)
London, Waddington Galleries, Picasso/Matisse Works on Paper, June 24 - July 19, 1997, no. 12, p. 53 (illustrated, n.p.)

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Waddington Galleries, London
Private Collection, Portugal (acquired from the above by the father of the owner in 2004)
Thence by descent to the present owner

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