Grande Tête de Femme au Chapeau Orné

Large Woman’s Head with Ornate Hat

Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Medium: Ceramic
Dimensions: 600 x 500mm, 23 5/8 x 19 5/8″
References: Ramié 518
Edition: One of fifty impressions numbered 15/50 on the back, where the following inscription is also engraved: “Madoura Plein Feu; Empreinte Originale de Picasso”
Impression: Very fine impression upon this thick terra cotta plaque, subsequently surface-rolled with black paint
Condition: Excellent; framed
Price: Upon request

Picasso created ceramic editions from seven of his linocuts. All but one of them are small in scale apart from this ponderous, sensational piece. This portrait has a commanding presence even more powerful than the corresponding edition printed on paper and represents the masterpiece of his linocut-to-ceramic transfers.

Of all of his big linocut heads printed on paper in shades of brown, Picasso chose only this one from which to make a ceramic edition. One wonders whether, of all of these big heads, he preferred this design. It is certainly my favorite. (Ceramic editions were also made of several small linocut heads, but they measure around 14” as opposed to the nearly 24” of this big head.)

Whereas to our eyes, most of the brown heads, both large and small, lack luster in terms of coloration, their ceramic counterparts by contrast are quite striking. The rich terra cotta color in the three-dimensional grooves of these ceramics is radiant, quite unlike the toned-down browns on paper.