Pablo Picasso - Figures and Cavalier


Célestine with a Woman and a Cavalier on Foot

Rectangular Plaque made of red earthenware clay, printed with engine pad, 1968, 'Madoura Plein Feu/Empreinte Originale de Picasso verso

Size: 10.5 x 16.5 cms

Reference: Alain Ramié, Picasso: Catalogue of the Edited Ceramic Works 1947 - 1971, Galerie Madoura, 1988, reproduced page 268, catalogue Number 540

Bloch 182

Edition: 500 - Numbered verso

Created by: Madoura Potteries, Vallauris, France

Note: This is part of a series of Corrida scenes Picasso depicted on his ceramic works. The iconography is extremely similar to the 347 series of etchings he was working on at the sane time. The figure of “La Celestine is instantly recognisable.

The La Célestine suite are illustrations, or more accurately a response, to one of the most significant works in Spanish literature, properly known as La Tragicomedia de Calisto y Melibea, a dramatized novel written by Fernando de Rojas and published in Burgos in 1499. Picasso had been familiar with the work since adolescence and in later life he collected various rare editions. The tale revolves around Celestina, an aged matchmaker whose corruption knows no bounds as she resorts to pulling one ruse after another in order to further her position.The old procuress and her hedonistic band of prostitutes, corrupt servants, clerics, officials, swaggering pimps and courtiers inhabit scene after scene driven by gross self-interest. The bawdy lewdness of the La Célestine plot is evident from its beginning, as is its account of selfish human indulgence, and the reader is the voyeur of all their sordid dealings. The story tells of a bachelor, Calisto, who uses the old procuress and bawd Celestina to start an affair with Melibea, an unmarried girl kept in seclusion by her parents. Though the two use the rhetoric of courtly love , sex — not marriage — is their aim. When he dies in an accident, she commits suicide. The two lovers can be seen together in our ceramic together with La Celestine

Public Collections: The Metropolitan Museum, New York

Condition: In very good condition