Pablo Picasso - Face No. 203, 1956
Medium: Glazed earthenware, Faience
Size: 9.9" in diameter
Edition: 117/150 Alain Ramie Catalog Number: A.R. 496
The face has always been one of the chief visual fascinations of the great Picasso. Throughout his prolific and diverse career, he explored the human body with a special focus on facial expressions rendering them through a number of different inspirations, from early realistic representations, over cubist breakdowns, to childlike drawings inspired by primitive arts.
“Face No. 203” is a part of the large series of ceramic works Picasso found particularly suitable for the subject. The face is described by simplistic blobs of primary colors and a few bold dark brushstrokes, while a set of very light dots describes what is supposed to be a beard. Despite a rather elementary approach, the face does not lack in expression or character, while its thick contours reveal a direct influence of African masks, an important influence in Picasso’s work.
Considered one of the greatest artists of all times, Picasso was a dedicated analyst of the visual world. He scrutinized every subject to the very last detail, building his visual language on the abstracted essentials he found within. His schematic face studies reflect this comprehensive approach, while the apparent simplicity of images hides layers of analysis and contemplation, displaying only the principal features. No other artist has managed to achieve such mastery in using lines and blotches of color to create an image so full of life. Representative of Picasso’s late practice, “Face No. 203” is a glazed earthenware plate created during the Picasso Madoura period. It belongs to an edition of 150 created in 1963, numbered 117/150 and hand marked at the bottom. The work is referenced in Alain Ramie’ s "Picasso, Catalogue of the edited ceramic works" as number 496.
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About Pablo Picasso A man of unparalleled talent, Pablo Picasso was the most influential figure in the 20th-century art. With an unequivocal sense of invention, he was devoted to creating art throughout his life, crossing media with utter ease and elegance, always following his limitless imagination as the ultimate indicator of truth.
Together with Georges Braque, Picasso fathered one of the most progressive art movements - Cubism, rethinking the representation of the three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface in a radical way. Inspired by the art of Africa and the Iberian peninsula, his ideas and works left a deep mark on other modernist movements, including Expressionism and Surrealism. His most famous work, the powerful “Guernica” (1937), was created in reaction to the Spanish Civil War, today celebrated as the supreme example of anti-war art. Resolute and vital throughout his life, Picasso left behind a colossal body of work of paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, ceramics, costumes and stage set designs. With a name synonymous with greatness, Picasso is considered a legend. He was infamous for his many passionate relationships with women, as well as for his charisma. With an ego to match his gift, the great artist once said about himself: “My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”
Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain, in 1881. He lived in Paris and Mougins, France, where he died in 1973.