TêTE DE FAUNE
FIGURE AVEC RAYONSTête de FauneHOMME DÉVOILANT UNE FEMME (MAN UNCOVERING A WOMAN)COLOMBE VOLANT
Pablo Picasso
MáLAGA 1881 - 1973 MOUGINS
TêTE DE FAUNE
ca. 1950
BALLPEN INK ON PAPER
SIGNED OBOVE RIGHT: " PICASSO"
21 X 17 CM
PROVENANCE

COLLECTION GIOTTI, PLAGE GAROUPE, ST. JEAN CAP VERRAT

CERTIFICATE

CERTIFICATE BY CLAUDE RUIZ PICASSO FROM 19.03. 2013 

Like the Minotaur, the faun holds key significance in Picasso’s personal mythology and is encountered as a recurring theme in his oeuvre. As in classical mythology, the hybrid of goat and man was a symbol of the lust for life – with particular emphasis on “lust”. Indeed, this figure – with its innocent animal cravings, its predilection for a natural, uninhibited life, its mastery of the art of seduction and entertainment, this mischievous and playful creature was the embodiment of vital, and above all sensual, aspects of the Picasso’s own character. The brisk, loose, and expressively placed lines in the drawing of a laughing faun convey passion and energy. In the self-portrait of the artist as a faun, Picasso was seeking his disguise in the reservoir of mythological motifs, and consciously formulating Nietzsche’s principle of a necessary Apollonian-Dionysian dualism. Picasso had been under the influence of this idea from a very early stage. To interpret our drawing from this perspective, the beautiful, aesthetic line and clear form would embody the Apollonian principle, and the wild, libidinous, ecstatic vitality the Dionysian. In this pensive, harmless, self-engrossed figure, animal libido thus combines with the expression of gentle sensuality. This harmony of contrasting forces is the fundamental motivation underlying Picasso’s search for inspiration and form.


In its rapid execution, our work communicates the artist’s spontaneous idea without getting caught up in logic and rational thought. For Picasso, drawing offered a means of capturing intimate, deeply human feeling in spontaneous, free compositions. His lifelong curiosity and incredible passion are manifest both in those of his works distinguished by subtle colours and motifs and in small, delicate ones like this, whose expression conveys the lyrical mood so distinctively Picassoesque. The artist’s great vitality and precise power of observation are mirrored by the self-confident stroke and tremendous verve of this sketch. With force, suspense, virtuoso talent and just a few lines, he has here captured a legend on paper.


Our drawing comes from the Giotti Collection. Giotti was the owner of one of the most exclusive and exquisite beach clubs in the illustrious Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a town located on one of the world’s most beautiful bays, where not only the Rothschilds, Jean Cocteau and the Windsors liked to spend their holidays, but also Pablo Picasso. In those years Picasso made the French Riviera the source of inspiration – and the stage – for the last two and a half decades of his life. The confident, rapid handling of the pen gives this work its special character; it is far more than just a sketch dashed off as a favour for a good friend. On the contrary, drawing formed the true core of Picasso’s creativity. He used drawings as studies for other works, but also to try out new forms and develop new ideas, and occasionally to experiment with different materials. He was thus unquestionably the greatest draughtsman of his time, and his oeuvre – which has every conceivable subtlety at its disposal – bears comparison with that of the greatest master of draughtsmanship. This drawing is one more example showing that it was not the quantity – the sum of the depicted subject or the mass of the motif – that was important for Picasso, but that everything was subordinated to the spontaneity and rapidity that are typical of his drawing oeuvre and thus, in their character, bear the great artist’s unmistakable signature.