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Picasso Suite Vollard

Park West Picasso Collection

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Ambroise Vollard and Picasso’s “Suite Vollard”

In 1934, when Picasso asked to buy a Renoir and a Cezanne painting from Vollard's private collection, the dealer instead offered to swap the paintings for a group of one hundred plates - the future Suite Vollard. The set included 97 plates along with three portraits of Vollard. The term "suite" is something of a misnomer. La Suite Vollard is more of a compilation assembled by Picasso from seven years' work that he considered important, and which he also thought would appeal to Vollard. The majority of the plates are line etchings (occasionally with drypoint), a technique in which Picasso was especially expert. On several of the plates Picasso used "sugar-lift" or "lift-ground" aquatint, a variation of etching that allowed him to paint his design directly onto the plate.

Stylistically, most of the images in the suite reveal the neo-classical phase of Picasso's work since Picasso had come into contact with ancient art a year earlier in Rome. This influence was to appear as a dominant theme in his etchings and drawings throughout the 1920's and 1930's. Picasso's young mistress and muse, Marie-Therese Walter, is at the center of the suite. She is found throughout with her wide, oval face centered by a Roman nose bridging straight from the forehead, and crowned with short, cropped hair.

For more information on the Park West Gallery Picasso Collection:
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