Central and tutelary figure of modern and contemporary art of the 20th century, me painter of Spanish origin Pablo Picasso marked the history of art with his geometric paintings, his surrealist inpirations and his cubist style revolutionized the fine arts with famous paintings such as Guernica or the Demoiselles d’Avignon. The depth of Picasso’s work, be it art objects, engravings, paintings or collages, ensures his systematic success in public auctions and galleries. Sought after by all the world’s greatest museums, art experts and the most discerning collectors, the works of Pablo Picasso are among the references of the modern and contemporary art market.
Born in 1881 in Andalusia and died in 1973 in Mougins, Pablo Picasso is an emblematic figure who became almost mythical in modern art. A prodigious artist, he crossed the 20th century by bringing his personal touch and his always innovative viewpoint to each of the great artistic currents of this century.
The beginning of his artistic career was marked by the suicide of his great Catalan friend Carlos Casagemas in 1901. Picasso was deeply shocked by this tragedy, and his work suffered as a result.
In his paintings and drawings, the artist approaches melancholic and dark themes that he highlights with a palette of cold tones dominated by the colour blue.
During these few years, Picasso was mainly interested in representations of suffering and poverty. He depicts beggars, blind people, or prostitutes with famished silhouettes and harsh looks.
In 1904, there is a shift towards the use of warmer colours, in ochre tones, and towards the representation of more cheerful, warmer subjects. The techniques and his pencil stroke, still figurative and realistic, remain close, but the symbolic content of his work is quite different.
This is largely due to his installation in France. Indeed, after several short visits to Paris between 1900 and 1902, in particular for his exhibition in Ambroise Vollard’s gallery, the young Pablo Picasso decided to come and live in the midst of the artistic emulation of the beginning of the century, at the Bateau Lavoir. He led a bohemian life and befriended the poets Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire and André Salmon. He meets Fernande Olivier and finds through her the serenity of a more stable love affair. Apollinaire evokes these years as those of the “period of the acrobats”, the nearby Médrano circus being a major source of inspiration at the time.
The auction house Aguttes Commissaire-priseur offered several works by Pablo Picasso for sale, each time with very satisfactory results. This was made possible by the dynamism of the Contemporary Art department, which offered to appraise and estimate works by Pablo Picasso in complete confidentiality. The international network built up over time by the auction house Aguttes enables all buyers and sellers to be connected. Thus in 2019, Harlequin and Monkey a pencil on paper, executed in 1918 (25 x 19 cm – 9 7/8 x 7 ½ in.) was sold for €123,500.