Pablo Picasso, ‘Le Couple’, 1951, Harris Schrank Fine Prints

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Le Couple, 1951, drypoint on chine volant, signed lower right margin and numbered (5/XI) lower left margin. References: Bloch 690, Baer 889. Presumably an impression of Baer’s 889 Bb before the edition of 400 included in the book Dons des Feminines. 8 1/2 x 6 5/8, the sheet 19 1/5 x 12 3/4 inches.

In good condition except for extensive rippling in the (very wide) margins, probably resulting from the process of printing on this paper (not affecting the image), a printer’s crease at right, a reinforced thin spot verso in the margin. Full margins with archival mounting.

Provenance: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

A fine, carefully printed impression.

In this fascinating drypoint Picasso seems to invoke the sensibility of the Vollard Suite classical etchings (of the ’30’s) within a cubist framework (of an even earlier period). This is amazing – and it works – but of course Picasso continued to amaze throughout his career.

Signature: signed and numbered in pencil

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