Colored crayon on paper
7 x 10 ½ inches (18 x 27 cm)
Signed lower right: Picasso
Private collection, Sweden
Private collection, The Netherlands
Art l’exposition Internationale du Surrealisme, December 15, 1959 to February 29, 1960. Gallery Samlaren, Stockholm
The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Claude Picasso.
“Painting is a blind’s man profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, about what he tells himself what he has seen” – Pablo Ruiz y Picasso
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, better known as Pablo Picasso, was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the Bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian air forces at the behest of the Spanish nationalist government during the Spanish Civil War, and perhaps by far the most recognized symbol of Peace “The Dove”.
His father was an art teacher, and the young Pablo grew up in an artistic environment. By the age of fourteen, he was an accomplished draftsman, and in 1900 at age nineteen, he made his first trip to Paris. There he studied the Old Masters and Classical sculpture and also was exposed to the paintings of Impressionists and Post Impressionists.
Between 1901 and 1904, his work was dominated by a blue palette, which has led to this time being called his “Blue Period”. Blue, for him, was to symbolize suffering, frequently hunger and cold, and the hardships he experienced while attempting to establish himself. By 1905, his ‘Rose or Circus Period’ was beginning, and also later that year, a growing interest in African masks evolved in his painting.
The 1920s are regarded as one of the most productive periods of Picasso’s career. He painted with vivid coloration, expressing an experience of curvilinear Cubism and classical idealism. In 1927, he began a relationship with seventeen-year-old Marie Therese Walther, and in 1936 with Dora Maar, a photographer, and used them both as models in various works.
During the World War II years, Picasso did a lot of modeling in clay and creating of assemblages with found objects, and many of the pieces, especially after the War, expressed his sense of humor. Also after the War, he began creating with ceramics and he was very productive with printmaking. In 1943, he was involved with Francoise Gilot, an accomplished artist, with whom he had two children, Claude and Paloma. His last female relationship was with Jacqueline Roque, whom he met in 1953 and married in 1961.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 at the age of 91. The last eight years of his life had been difficult due to health reasons but he continued to be productive. In an article in Time magazine, May 26, 1980, he was qualified as: “To the end . . . Picasso remained Picasso; an indefatigable worker, a lover of mischief and pranks, quirky, increasingly aloof, mercurial, yet often remarkably generous and warm.”
With Guernica hailed as one of the world’s most moving anti-war paintings, Picasso was invited to design an image to represent peace. Picasso’s first Dove of Peace, chosen as the emblem for the First International Peace Conference in Paris in 1949, was a traditional, realistic depiction of a pigeon which had actually been given to him by his close friend, Henri Matisse.
With the “Dove of Peace” Picasso created an extraordinarily powerful and lasting political symbol, adopted by campaigners for peace, liberation and equality around the globe. Doves also had a highly personal significance for Picasso, going back to childhood memories of his father painting the doves that were kept in the family home. Doves were a frequent presence in Picasso’s homes and studios in Paris and in the south of France. He also named his daughter ‘Paloma’, the Spanish word for ‘dove’.
Our “Dove of Peace” is an exceptional example of Picasso’s artistic genius, created in the years following 1949. Picasso later developed the original image into a simple, graphic line drawing and is one of the world’s most recognizable symbols of peace. The Dove can be found in the largest international public collections including MoMA NYC, The Guggenheim, TATE Modern UK, Picasso Museums in Paris and Malaga.