Project Description

Pablo Picasso, Faune dévoilant une dormeuse (Jupiter et Antiope, d’après Rembrandt), Engraving with aquatint on Montval laid paper, framed
Pablo Picasso, Faune dévoilant une dormeuse (Jupiter et Antiope, d’après Rembrandt), Engraving with aquatint on Montval laid paper, unframed

Faune dévoilant une dormeuse
(Jupiter et Antiope, d’après Rembrandt)

Pablo Picasso

1881-1973

Engraving with aquatint on Montval laid paper
Signed lower right in pencil From ‘La Suite Vollard.’ Sixth and final state.
Published by Ambroise Vollard, Paris.
Printed by Lacourière, Paris. Faune dévoilant une dormeuse (Jupiter et Antiope, d’après Rembrandt) is the last in the sequence of one hundred prints known as the Vollard Suite. Incorporating a range of techniques, the series drew upon mythological themes as well as allusions to Picasso’s relationship to Marie-Thérèse Walter. This print is directly based on Rembrandt’s engraving Jupiter and Antiope (1659), in which Jupiter visits Antiope, the daughter of the King of Thebes, in the guise of a satyr or faun. Made as Picasso’s relationship with Marie-Thérèse was ending, it shows the faun gently uncovering the sleeping Antiope without disturbing her. This is the sixth and final state of Faune dévoilant une dormeuse (Jupiter et Antiope, d’après Rembrandt). Although the image remained fundamentally the same through the six states, the simple black lines and negligible shading of the earlier states developed into rich tones of grey that depicted a night-time scene with a dramatic play of light and shade. The faun, however, underwent a major transformation, growing more striking and classical-looking with every state, and finally becoming, as Picasso cataloguer Brigitte Baer has described him, ‘a god-like personification of beauty.’ (Baer 1983, p.98.) An intriguing change is in the minor detail of the plant in a pot in front of the balcony: at first a strawberry plant, it eventually turned into basil which, according to Mediterranean folklore, had the magical power to transform animals into wonderful creatures, especially during a full moon.

This series was the culmination of the collaboration between Picasso and Ambroise Vollard, who had been his first dealer and for whom he had illustrated a number of books. It consists of one hundred prints made in the period 1930-7. Of these, ninety-seven were selected by Picasso and given to Vollard in exchange for a number of his early works; the remaining three were portraits of Vollard. Picasso used a range of techniques in this series, such as etching, aquatint, drypoint, wash, burin and scraper. Printed in 1939 by printmaker Roger Lacourière, the Suite Vollard consists of at least two or three artist’s proofs on Montval laid paper, three impressions on vellum paper, fifty impressions on Montval laid paper, and 250 impressions on off-white Montval laid paper bearing the watermark ‘Vollard’ or ‘Picasso.’

This print has been described as ‘a work that looks back nostalgically on their stay in Juan-les-Pins [in April 1936] and on a passion that had changed … the most successful print in the Suite Vollard and one of the most beautiful in the artist’s engraved work.’

Artist

Pablo Picasso

Title 

Faune dévoilant une dormeuse

Date

1936

Medium

Engraving with aquatint on Montval laid paper

Inscriptions

Signed lower right in pencil

Dimensions

type here

Inventory Number

914896