Portrait de Vollard, II

Artist: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
 March 4, 1937
Medium: Sugar-lift aquatint on copper
Dimensions: Print @348 x 247 mm, 13.7 x 9.7″; Sheet @445 x 339 mm, 17.5 x 13.3″
Signature: Signed “Picasso” in red pencil, lower right
Selected references:
Suite Vollard 98
Bloch 231
Baer 618 Bd
D. Wye, A Picasso Portfolio: Prints from the Museum of Modern Art; MOMA, 2010, ills. p. 111.
S. Coppel, Picasso: The Complete Vollard Suite Prints, by the British Museum Press, 2012, pp. 178-9
Edition: From the edition of 260 on Montval paper printed by Lacouriere in 1939 before the cancellation of the plate, and mostly signed (around 95% according to Baer). There was also an edition of 50 on wider-margined paper that same year.
Paper: Montval laid; untrimmed
Impression: Fine
Condition: Flawless
Price: Upon request

“By 1937, ninety-seven plates for the Vollard Suite had been completed.  When Vollard asked Picasso to round up the number to 100, which would make for a more marketable commodity, his response was to make four portraits of the dealer in one day, three of which were chosen for the Vollard Suite.  Picasso conveys the inscrutable demeanour of Vollard with psychological insight.  As he recounted to Françoise Gilot, a few years after the dealer’s death, ‘The most beautiful woman who ever lived never had her portrait painted, drawn, or engraved any oftener than Vollard–by Cézanne, Renoir, Rouault, Bonnard, Forain, almost everybody, in fact.  I think they all did him through a sense of competition, each one wanting to do him better than the others.  But my cubist portrait of him is the best one of all.  He had the vanity of a woman, that man.’

“Ambrose Vollard’s dour and wily character is captured in just a few deft brushstrokes of the sugar aquatint on the copperplate.  One of Picasso’s greatest portraits, it is a fitting tribute to the Paris picture dealer and print publisher after whom the Vollard Suite is named.” -S. Coppel, Picasso: The Complete Vollard Suite Prints, by the British Museum Press, pp. 177-8

Portrait de Ambroise Vollard, 1910
Portrait de Ambroise Vollard, 1910