Pablo Picasso - Homme a la Pipe et a la Canne et Jeune Femme nue

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Original Sugarlift aquatint and drypoint with scraper, 13 & 15/8/1968 on Rives paper, 2nd State of 2, signed by the artist in pencil

Edition: 50. There were also 15 Artists proofs. Further unsigned etchings were made for the book “La Celestine”

References:

Bloch, Georges. Pablo Picasso, catalogue de l'oeuvre gravé et lithographié, 4 vol.

Berne: Kornfeld and Klipstein. 1968-1979. (B:1754)

Brigitte Baer: “Picasso Peintre-Graveur” Volune VI - Number 1771

Printed by: Atelier Crommelynck

Note: The 66 original etchings done for La Célestine are part of Picasso’s 347 Suite (ours is plate number 274) , a collection of 347 etchings and aquatints generated in a furious creative frenzy; the 87-year-old artist turned out etchings at the rate of virtually two a day between March 16th and October 5th 1968, a mere seven months.

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 costly love , sex — not marriage — is their aim. When he dies in an accident, she commits suicide. The two overs can be seen together in our etching.

Size: Plate size: 90 x 118 mms