Pablo Picasso, ‘Nature morte,  13 July 1945’, 1945, Opera Gallery

PUBLIC NOTES: Still lifes preoccupied Picasso from the last years of World War II until his death. As powerful meditations on time, mortality and endurance, they combine a sense of despair and melancholy with a subdued political resistance. Serving as sort of a memento mori, his still lifes remind the viewer of the transience of human existence through the language of symbols.

Signature: Signed Picasso (upper right) and dated 13 juillet 45 (on the reverse) Claude-Ruiz Picasso has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Culan, France, Château de Culan, Exposition Picasso, 1967, No. 28
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Picasso - Werke von 1932-1965, 1967, No. 27, ill. in colour in the catalogue
Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Picasso - Das Spätwerk, 1968, No. 4, ill. in colour in the catalogue

Galerie Beyeler (ed.), Picasso, Basel, 1968, No. 72, ill. p. 107
Klaus Gallwitz, Picasso laureatus, Lucerne, 1971, No. 24, ill. p. 37

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Jane Wade, New York (acquired from the above, 1969)
Sale: Christie’s, London, 30 November 1976, lot 69
Private collection, Europe

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