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Peintre travaillant, observé par un modèl nu (Painter Working, Observed by a Nude Model), plate VII from the suite Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece)

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Pablo Picasso, Peintre travaillant, observé par un modèl nu (Painter Working, Observed by a Nude Model), plate VII from the suite Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece), 1927, etching on paper, The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Graphic Arts Collection, © artist or other rights holder, 80.122.121

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Title

Peintre travaillant, observé par un modèl nu (Painter Working, Observed by a Nude Model), plate VII from the suite Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece)

Related Titles

series (original language): Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu

series (translated): The Unknown Masterpiece

Artist

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, active France, 1881-1973)

Related People

publisher: Ambroise Vollard (French, 1866-1939)

Date

1927

Medium

etching on paper

Edition

artist's proof; edition of 340

Catalogue Raisonné

Bloch 89; Geiser/Baer 130

Dimensions (H x W x D)

image: 7 5/8 in x 11 in; sheet: 9 13/16 in x 12 7/8 in

Collection Area

Graphic Arts

Category

Prints

Object Type

intaglio print

Culture

Spanish

Credit Line

The Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Graphic Arts Collection

Accession Number

80.122.121

Copyright

© artist or other rights holder

Terms

etching

intaglio printing

intaglio prints

models

paper

studios

Description

Publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned Pablo Picasso to illustrate Honoré Balzac's great 1831 tale, Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece). The story centers on a painter who goes mad in the failed pursuit of his art. Picasso was irresistibly drawn to Balzac's story, which has been called "a fable of modern art." Moreover, it was among the first nineteenth-century texts to explore the power dynamic in the relationship between male artists and nude female models. Although the story is set in seventeenth-century Paris, Picasso depicts the artist, studio, and model in a timeless fashion, suggesting the universality of this tale of artistic ambition and human struggle.

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