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CURRENT COLUMN

The Case of the Olympic Posters
The Case of the Olympic Posters

The Case of the Solitary Surrealist
The Case of the Solitary Surrealist

The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt
The Case of the Recalcitrant Rembrandt

The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity
The Case of the Ambiguity of Authenticity

The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys
The Case of Margaret Keane’s Big-Eyed Boys

The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard
The Case of Clarence’s Château-Gaillard

The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910
The Case of the M.S. Nov 1910

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of the Archangel Michael Defeating Satan

The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2
The Case of Cruise Ship Art: Part 2

The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light
The Case of Mary Most Holy Mother of Light

The Case of Leni and the Nuba
The Case of Leni and the Nuba

The Case of the Seductive Souvenir
The Case of the Seductive Souvenir

The Case of the Irish Surrealist
The Case of the Irish Surrealist

The Case of the Developing Dalí
The Case of the Developing Dalí

The Case of Nano-D Technology
The Case of Nano-D Technology

The Case of Dabatable Donations
The Case of Debatable Donations

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of the Long-tailed Monkey

Edgar Heap of Birds
The Case of Edgar Heap of Birds

Silent Song
The Case of the Silent Song

Aficionado
The Case of Alex and the Art Aficionado

Portrait
The Case of the Privacy of the Publicity Photo

Potter
The Case of the Potter's Portraits

The Case of the Coy Cornelius Krieghoff

The Case of the Political Portraitist

The Case of the Reconsidered Revolution

The Case of the Anabiotic Abbey

The Case of the Phoney Picasso

The Case of Setsuko Piroche

The Case of being on the Forest Edge with Vern Simpson

The Case of Being at the End of the Storm with Loren Adams

The Case of Being: Under the Table with Thomas

The Case of Wyland's Whales on Walls

The Case of A.Y. Jackson's Smart River (Alaska)

The Case of Red Fish with Blue Breasts

The Case of Looe Poole

The Case of Camaldoli

The Case of MS

The Case of the Misattributed Emily Carrs

The Case of the Doubtful Dürer

The Case of the Purloined Picasso

The Case of the Defrocked Duchess of Devonshire

The Case of the First Wife

The Case of the Dodford Priory

The Case of the Unknown Actor

Art Services & Materials


Confessions Back

Practical Art History
(or Confessions of a Fine Art Appraiser)

Centaure, faune et bacchante

Pablo Picasso, Centaure, faune et bacchante

by Jim Finlay
James Finlay Fine Art Appraisals

Chapter 5. The case of the Purloined Picasso

As is sometimes the case in my capacity as a professional fine art appraiser, I have the unpleasant task of informing an owner of the dubious authorship of a work in his or her collection.

Such was the case when I appraised a small collection of etchings, serigraphs and lithographs by contemporary artists. I was especially troubled by the only Picasso in the collection. It appeared to be a red and black lithograph, titled, dated and editioned in pencil, lower left, Antibes, Novembre 46, 33/250. The image was of a centaur holding a trident, with a faun playing his pipe and a bacchante with a tambourine caressing an indifferent goat. The overall dimensions of the work were approximately 9.5 x 11.5 inches.

Upon closer inspection, I confirmed the presence of a signature in pencil, which appeared to be similar to that of legitimate signatures by Picasso and also, the fact that the title and date were in pencil. I determined that the image was not a lithograph but a photomechanical reproduction as the size of the image was unusually small for a lithograph.

I proceeded to research the image and discovered that is was not listed in two catalogues of Picasso’s graphic work as authored by Bloch and Mourlot, however, it was listed as a lithograph after Picasso by Mallen and titled Centaure, faune et bacchante.

The lithographic (after Picasso) image appeared in the publication, Les Dessins d’Antibes, published in 1957, as part of a set of 15 lithographs (edition of 200 each), in New York by Gallerie Chalette. The size of the lithographs was listed as 20 ¥ 26 inches and was based on drawings Picasso made at Antibes during November 1946.

Further research revealed that the image, entitled Faune agenouille de profil jouant de la diaule, nymphe debout ay tambourin et a la chèvre, centaure barbu au Trident, was first produced by Picasso in Antibes, as a pencil and coloured crayon drawing on wove Arches paper. It was not signed and is dated on the reverse at top centre and was probably completed on November 1 1946. It measures approximately 20 x 26 inches, and is in the collection of the Musée Picasso, Antibes, France.

Antibes is a small resort town on the south coast of France and was frequently visited by Picasso. During November of 1946, Picasso was indeed in residence in Antibes and produced several drawings where he used the imagery of a centaur, faun and bacchante.

A review of page 97 in the publication Picasso d’Antibes, the official catalogue of Musée Picasso, shows the image in my client’s collection, the same size, however without the addition of a title, date and editioned number, as well as a signature.

I concluded that my client did not possess a lithograph from this publication as the size and method of reproduction did not correspond.

Next:: The Case of the Jimmy Wright

 Tue, Apr 4, 2006