In 1923 Picasso seeks once again a style. After the Demoiselles d'Avignon and Cubisme, he uses his drawing skills for a neo-classicism. Hands and feet of his characters are exaggerated to express the monumental majesty of ancient goddesses. Picasso admired one of his predecessors, Paul Cézanne. In this same period his still lifes allow him to persevere in a Cubism where he hides the erotic references that could disturb Olga.
In April 1923 he paints three large portraits of Olga, two in oil and one in pastel. The sharp brush stroke is a tribute to the idealized beauty of the former ballerina of the Ballets Russes. The hues of great softness express a demand for empathy that Pablo still has with his wife but his erotic desire is no longer on her.
On May 13 in New York, Christie's sells La Lettre (la réponse), oil on canvas 100 x 81 cm, lot 64A estimated $ 20M. The young woman is seated at a desk for writing a letter but she has entered her reverie and does not use her pen.
These three portraits are among the last paintings of Picasso's Ingresque period. In the following year, he radically reinterprets cubism by replacing collage-shaped flat areas with an application to human figures of the de-construction of the Cézannian space. In 1928 surrealism allows Picasso to stop differentiating Olga from other women. Their communication issue inevitably leads to the break.
SOLD for $ 25M including premium