Pablo Picasso’s first Cubist sculpture is about to bid farewell to its home, The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met in New York, soon.
New York City’s The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is officially selling Pablo Picasso‘s first sculpture Tête de femme or Head of a woman (Fernande) in May. The artwork will be sold to Christie’s for USD 30 million.
The bronze cast, which dates back to 1909, is an interpretation of the Cuban artist’s mistress Fernande Olivier in three dimensions whom he had studied through various perspectives at one time.
It is said to be one of the costliest single deaccessions coming from a museum in recent years. The museum stated that the proceeds from this sale will be utilised in new acquisitions, aligning with a policy determined by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), an organisation that sets rules for US based art institutions.
More so, the sculpture was in The Met’s collection for over two decades and the decision to sell it came after receiving another version of the Tête de femme by Leonard Lauder who is considered to be one of the largest collectors of Cubist art in the world.
Interestingly, Christie’s consider the sculpture an important movement in “the development of Picasso’s artistic practice, cubism.”
In a press release, Max Carter, head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art department explained, “Tête de femme (Fernande) is Cubism’s definitive early sculpture. Its revolutionary architectural faceting, which Picasso sliced and sharpened after modeling in clay, suggests Vesalius as much as it does Frank Gehry.”
Here’s what we know about it
The journey of Tête de femme (Fernande)
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Picasso had made 16 bronze castings of the Tête de femme (Fernande) that potrayed the French model Fernande Olivier.
The bronze sculpture became a part of the museum’s collection in 1995, when it was donated by the heirs of Florene M Schoenborn, who had been a counsellor to the Museum of Modern Art.
The duplicate cast that the museum acquired was donated by Lauder, who had promised 78 works from his Cubist art collection for The Met in 2013.
Tête de femme (Fernande) will be sold during Christie’s 20th Century Art evening sale in New York.
“We are extraordinarily privileged to have had two casts of Picasso’s first Cubist sculpture—a masterpiece—thanks to the generosity of great patrons past and present,” Max Hollein, the Met’s director, said in a statement. He added that the sale’s funds will, “enable the Museum to further prioritize acquisitions of major outstanding works of art.”
(Hero and Featured Image Credit: Embassy of Spain USA? Twitter)
This story first appeared on Prestige Singapore.