The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, September 21, 2019


Sotheby's to offer Lord & Lady Attenborough's celebrated private collection of Picasso ceramics
Beginning in 1954 with one of Picasso’s souvenir ashtrays, they spent the next 50 years acquiring many different examples of the artist’s ceramic editions. Photo: Sotheby's.


LONDON.- This November, Sotheby’s will offer at auction the celebrated private collection of Picasso ceramics assembled by Lord and Lady Attenborough. Renowned for its quality and prescience, the collection was built with the joyfilled tradition of an annual pilgrimage to the South of France, where Lord Attenborough, his wife Sheila, and their children enjoyed holidays at their summer home, not far from the town of Vallauris. Beginning in 1954 with one of Picasso’s souvenir ashtrays, they spent the next 50 years acquiring many different examples of the artist’s ceramic editions. A casual visit to the Madoura pottery – where Picasso began working in 1949 – developed into a regular event, and, as their collection grew, it followed Picasso's developments in working in the medium of fired clay. Providing an extensive overview of one of the most fruitful periods in Picasso’s career, the sale begins with a work from 1947 and spans pieces which were conceived by the artist over the following 25 years. Comprising 67 lots, and estimated to bring a combined total in the region of £1.5 million, the single-owner auction will take place in London on 22 November 2016.

Séverine Nackers, Sotheby’s Picasso Ceramics Specialist, said: “This is quite simply the best collection of its kind in private hands, infused with the sheer joy that it gave Lord Attenborough and his delight in Picasso’s impish sense of humour. There is no doubt that the appearance of these ceramics on the market, with the distinguished provenance of such a well-loved and respected actor, director and producer as the late Lord Attenborough, will generate a great deal of excitement among collectors anxious to become their next custodians.”

Michael Attenborough, CBE, said: “Vallauris was a great annual pilgrimage. In those days I remember wrapping pots up in brown paper for the drive back to England. At Old Friars, our family home, there was a huge, long table in the hall and the top surface of it would have four or five Picasso pots and underneath it there would be another four or five. Dad scattered them liberally everywhere; he adored them and just loved their extraordinary combination of beauty and wit.”

Lord Attenborough has recounted how every summer during the 1960s, he and Sheila took their children to a pension in the South of France and, on or around 29th August, they would drive to the Madoura studio to choose his birthday present. Just as Lord Attenborough was immediately enchanted with Picasso's ceramics, he became equally enchanted with the artist on meeting him for the first time, at Madoura in 1963. His recollection speaks volumes: "I think my heart missed a beat – the impact would, I am certain, have been no less had I suddenly found myself face to face with Shakespeare or Beethoven. He was outrageously charming." On this joyous occasion – Lord Attenborough’s 40th birthday, no less – Picasso presented him with a signed photo, and to Sheila, a little terracotta medallion to wear around her neck.

Lord and Lady Attenborough were in many ways pioneers in collecting these ceramics, recognising in them not only Picasso's creative ingenuity but also actively building a collection that was unique for its time. As early as 1984, Lord Attenborough contributed to an exhibition of ‘Original Ceramics by Pablo Picasso’, held at the Nicola Jacobs Gallery in London, with an introduction in the catalogue. Not only has the collection been celebrated since at least that time, but Lord Attenborough’s astute views on Picasso’s body of work in ceramics have also been lauded. He understood that Picasso created these works with the same innovative passion as his paintings, sculptures and prints.

The Attenborough collection includes both editioned and unique works depicting real and mythical creatures, classical motifs, bullfighting scenes, and portraits, each piece epitomising Picasso’s masterful and playful take on the age-old tradition of firing clay.

The passion and confidence of Lord and Lady Attenborough’s collecting was celebrated in Sotheby’s landmark sale, A Life In Pictures: The Collection of Lord and Lady Attenborough, in London in 2009. Exemplars of what it means to be a collector, Lord and Lady Attenborough housed their collection at Old Friars, their family home.

Highlights
Grand vase aux femmes nues Terre de faïence vase, 1950 numbered 8/25 height: 26in Estimate £250,000-350,000

Picasso was keen to create large pots that had a stronger sculptural dimension. Grands vase aux femmes nues represented a new phase in which scale played an important role. These large flared vases depict female nudes, whose figures are emphasised by the curves of the vase – the hips and buttocks of the four nudes follow the curves of the actual vase. Similar to a classical group, Picasso drew inspiration from the Three Graces, a theme which can be seen in his prints and drawings from the 1920s through to the post-war period.

Tripode Terre de faïence vase, 1951 numbered 35/75 29¾in high Estimate £80,000-120,000
With a form inspired by ancient Cypriot pottery, Picasso decorated the front and back with depictions of Françoise Gilot, his muse and lover, the front showing her resting on her hands.

Tête de femme couronnée de fleurs Terre de faïence vase, 1954 signed, numbered 48/50 9in high Estimate £15,000-25,000
Modelled to emphasise the shape of a woman’s face, with the design of the eyes and eyebrows accentuated, this vase is the only editioned Picasso ceramic to be signed by the artist. Modelled and carved by Picasso from a single-handled pot, in this instance he left the white earthenware undecorated.

Oiseaux et poissons Terre de faïence vase, 1955 numbered 19/25 19¼in high Estimate £40,000-60,000
One of the first ceramics to be produced in the smaller edition size of 25, this piece alternates in red and white with a linear design. The simple decoration of the vase creates the impression of birds and fish moving their way around the vase.

Vase gros oiseau vert Terre de faïence vase, 1960 numbered 17/25 22½in high Estimate £50,000-70,000
Vase gros oiseau vert was a particular favourite of the Attenboroughs. The oval form of this vase is reminiscent of Picasso’s earliest experiments for bird vases, made up of thrown and assembled parts. The faun-like faces, a decoration similar to those of his plates at the time, fill the body of the vase, whilst the handles represent both wings and horns.

Chouette Terre de faïence vase, 1969 numbered 169/300 11¾in high Estimate £10,000-15,000
Created in 1969, a particularly innovative time for Picasso when he re-worked some of his earlier designs, this vase is an example of how he incorporated new decoration into his earlier owl shaped pots. Here Picasso has used brushed glazes, slips and gouging to create a feathered effect.

Vase aux chèvres Terre de faïence vase, 1952 from the edition of 40 7½in high Estimate £7,000-9,000
The goat motif is common in Picasso’s work and he continues the theme in this vase, where he uses a dramatic black and white contrast to depict a goat’s profile and another goat running.

Oiseau au ver Terre de faïence ashtray, 1952 from the edition of 500 diameter: 5¾in Estimate £1,000-2,000
Picasso was keen to use the sale of his editions to make his art available to a wider audience. With this in mind, he created a series of little round ashtrays. Together with a traditional form and an animated design, Picasso used the technique of wax resist and copper oxide to create a spread of green colouring, adding a distinctive decoration to each piece.

Visage de femme Executed 4.8.1951 unique large ceramic jug with long spout 19½in high Estimate £120,000-180,000
The Attenboroughs added several unique ceramics to their collection, including Visage de femme, which came directly from the artist’s estate. A large ceramic, this vase shows Picasso’s fascination with simplistic designs and monochromatic tones to depict a woman’s face. Picasso carried out the transformation of a tradition Provençal vessel into a head with wit and a great understanding of the materials. He incised the features of a woman’s head directly into the raw white clay, painted her hair with a dark slip around the back and at the top, and decorated the long spout to give the impression that the woman has a tall, Spanish comb on top of her head.

Tête de chèvre de profil Terre de faïence plate, 1952 from the edition of 100 diameter: 16¼in £8,000-12,000
The first important ceramic that the Attenboroughs acquired was Tête de chèvre de profil. Picasso associated the horned animal with the mischievous fauns of antiquity. In this piece, the goat’s head fills the space of the plate, with special attention given to the central placement of the eye.

Corrida The complete set of 8 terre de faïence dishes, 1959 each numbered 46/50 diameter: each 16½in Estimate £30,000-£50,000
Whilst exiled in France, Picasso continued to explore the customs and traditions of his native Spain through his work. He welcomed the opportunity to attend bullfights and the imagery of the corrida quickly made its way into his ceramics. In 1959, the artist carved and decorated a series of round, earthenware dishes. This sequence depicts the different stages of a bullfight in black on red clay. In this case, a set of eight dishes was reserved for the Attenboroughs in advance of their annual trip to Madoura in 1960.

Personnages et têtes Terre de faïence vase, 1954 numbered 5/25 22in high Estimate £50,000-70,000
A technical tour-de-force, Personnages et têtes has strong classical associations: as well as the subject matter, the colours – black, white and red – echo the decoration of ancient Greek pots. On each of the four sides of this tall, square vase, heads of bearded fauns and youths were used in both positive and negative form. Some of these heads project forward, while others are impressed into the surface.






Today's News

September 19, 2016

Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on

Gagosian Gallery presents new Composite Drawings and sculptures by Richard Serra

The Menil Collection presents first exhibition to explore the essential role of line drawing in Picasso's practice

Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna

Exhibition of new works by Dana Schutz opens at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin

Palm Beach Modern launches fall season with Sept. 24 Modern Art, Design & Decorative Arts Auction

Exhibition by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei opens at Foam in Amsterdam

Museum of Modern Art and Kai Althoff collaborate on major monographic exhibition

Sotheby's to offer Lord & Lady Attenborough's celebrated private collection of Picasso ceramics

Regen Projects opens an exhibition of new sculptures by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas

Sotheby's Hong Kong announces Contemporary Asian Art Autumn Sales 2016

Rare collection of Hollywood photographs to be offered at Julien's Auctions

Sotheby's Hong Kong announces Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Autumn Sales

Norfolk-born artist Brian Bress unveils new video installation at the Chrysler Museum of Art

Timber City exhibition re-defines a classic building material

Exhibition brings together works by photographer Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and ceramicist Taizo Kuroda

Tintype presents fully interactive work by Suki Chan

Ambitious new project by Bruce Nauman on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Artemis Gallery presents exceptional antiquities & ethnographic art auction, Sept. 22

Exhibition of drawings by Roxy Paine on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Steve Tobin is focus of the 4th Annual Jing'An International Sculpture Project

Phillips to showcase works by master photographers in October auctions

New exhibition of works by Simon Denny on view at Petzel Gallery

Lucie Stahl's first U.S. solo museum exhibition premieres at the Dallas Museum of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful