Picasso newly installed in Vallauris is initiated to the art of terracotta by his neighbors Suzanne and Georges Ramié who will edit his important work as a ceramist under the brand of their workshop Madoura or Madoura Plein Feu.
From 1947 to 1949 Pablo explores his new artistic language by decorating with engobe, enamel or paint the chargers and pitchers shaped by the craftsmen. The culmination of this phase is the design of three Grands Vases in 1950, later edited in 25 copies each plus a few prototypes and artist's proofs.
The three vases have the same globular form surmounted by a wide open truncated cone, meeting the desire of the artist to support the shape of the human body, wide at the shoulders and round at the buttocks. Picasso rediscovers or imitates the parietal art that used the form of the rock wall to create the figuration, and the Chinese art where a narration is obtained by unfolding the scroll.
The first two prototypes have the same height, 64 cm, and are dated from the same month, May 1950. Their themes are complementary: Grand vase aux femmes voilées and Grand vase aux femmes nues. The veiled woman is funny : she is seen full front and dressed on one side, from the back and full nude on the opposite side, and partially naked on the intercalary images.
The third and last design with that shape of vase, dated from the following month, is slightly higher : 70 cm. This Grand vase aux danseurs displays naked male fauns.
The prototype of the Femmes voilées was sold for £ 980K including premium by Christie's on June 19, 2013. The serial number 2 that is now coming for sale is the first in the series of 25 edited in 1954 and so appears as a prototype for the final colors. It is 66 cm high.
A copy of the Femmes voilées that had been kept in the Madoura collection was sold for £ 740K including premium on June 25, 2012 by Christie's.
A Grand vase aux femmes nues from the Attenborough collection was sold for £ 730K including premium by Sotheby's on November 22, 2016. A Grand vase aux danseurs was sold for £ 510K including premium by Christie's on February 5, 2014.
SOLD for £ 490K including premium