In the first sale of work by the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, since his death this week, one of his major works -- the Vollard Suite of 100 etchings -- failed to reach the reserve price at Sotheby's, the London art auctioneers on Thursday (12 April).
GV & CU Guernica painting in New York museum (5 shots)
GV & MV Picasso's place of rest (4 shots)
CU & SVs Picasso's work shown in New York (6 shots)
GV EXTERIOR.. Sotheby's, London
GV & CU Vollard etchings PAN down to Picasso signature (6 shots)
Initials ES. ??? ES. 1815
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Background: In the first sale of work by the Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, since his death this week, one of his major works -- the Vollard Suite of 100 etchings -- failed to reach the reserve price at Sotheby's, the London art auctioneers on Thursday (12 April). the etchings were withdrawn when bidding stopped at GBP105,000 (US$260,800).
The etchings, which are owned by a private United States art collector, were sectioned in November at Christies, in London, for GBP94,500 French art dealer, Ambroise Vollard. A signed Picasso lithograph, entitled "La Repetition" was later bought by a Japanese dealer for GBP3,800 -- about twice the pre-sale estimate.
Speculation over the future of Picasso's priceless art collection - including thousands of his own works which have never been seen publicly -- was partly resolved on Thursday when the artist's lawyers announced that Picasso had bequeathed his private collection of paintings by world famous artists to The Louves Museum, in Paris. The collection includes works by modern masters, such as Modigliani, Cezanne, Renoir and Mastisse.
In 1970, Picasso made a surprise gift or about 900 of his early works to the city of Barcelona. However, negotiations by the Spanish Government for Picasso's return to his home country and for the acquisition of his most famous anti-franco work "Guernica", proved abortive.
Picasso had lived in self-imposed exile in France since the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. He painted "Guernica" in Paris in 1937 after hearing of an air attack by Fascists on the Basque capital. More than 2,000 people were killed by the German aircraft, operating for General Francisco Franco's forces. The painting was exhibited at the Spanish Republican pavilion at the Paris Exhibition, where it swayed public opinion towards the Communist side.
The artist's embalmed body will be buried in about a week's time in a special tomb being prepared at his 16th Century chateau of Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence in France. His body is at present in a chapel at the chateau. Picasso died of a heart attack on Sunday (8 April) at the age of 91 at his villa t Mogins, about 60 miles from the chateau.
SYNOPSIS: Pablo Picasso once said painting was an instrument of war. The artist's death on 8 April has resurrected the controversy over his Spanish Civil War painting, "Guernica", which epitomised his opposition to General Francisco Franco's regime. Picasso refused to allow the painting to be exhibited in Spain during his lifetime. Whether his death will affect this prohibition is not yet known.
Picasso's embalmed body is lying in a chapel at this 16th Century chateau he owned at Vauvenargues, in southern France. He will buried in a tomb being prepared at the chateau. picasso died of a heart attack at his villa 60 miles away. He was 91.
It is not known what will happen to the thousands of Picasso paintings in the artist's private collection. They include works from his early Blue and Pink periods, as well as Cubist paintings. Many of them have never been seen publicly. Works by modern masters owned by Picasso have been requested to The Louvre Museum, in Paris.
At Sotheby's, the London art auctioneers, the first sale of works by Picasso since his death, was held on Thursday. The major work being offered was the Vollard Suite -- a set of 100 etchings commissioned from Picasso in 1931 by the leading French art dealer, Ambrosia Vollard. The etchings failed to reach the reserve price and were withdrawn from the sale when bidding stopped at 105 thousand pounds sterling. Last November, the etchings were auctioned at Christies, in London for 94 and a half thousand pounds. A signed lithograph of Picasso's was sold for about twice the pre-sale estimate.