PICASSO Tete de Femme au Chapeau/Paysage avec Baigneurs 1962
In this great engraving on linoleum Picasso created a mystery. With ‘Tete de femme au chapeau/Paysage avec Baigneurs’ we have two different and completely relevant pieces. In the vertical ‘Head of a Woman in Hat’, Picasso’s love of Jacqueline Rogue comes at us out of the brick red background. Then in ‘Paysage avec Baigneurs’, Picasso takes us into a sketch of Jacqueline and Pablo’s life together. This view reminds me of Gulf Juan on the French coast.
So, now on to the mystery: Picasso’s engraver, a Mr. Hidalgo Arnera of Vallauris, came to a major disagreement with the master over what side to sign on. Arnera wanted to have Picasso plate signed both in the horizontal and vertical. Picasso refused and only wanted to sign with pencil in the margin. As a result, Picasso stopped the pulls and refused to finish the run. This entire story was told by Georges Ramie (Madoura Pottery) at an afternoon soirée in Vallauris.
In ‘Tete de Femme au Chapeau’ Picasso brings us into one of the keys to understanding Cubism, when he lets us see Jacqueline in both frontal and profile at the same time. As if you were walking around a sculpted bust on a pedestal. But the real story is the life in Jacqueline’s face. In reference to this, I am offering this piece framed to hang in either direction.
What makes this piece so rare, is only three pulls are known to exist, and this one is in museum quality condition. In Picasso’s galaxy this star shines as one of the brightest! – M.J.