Monday, March 31, 2008


During his lifetime Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (1881-1973 ) created approximately 2000 prints in a variety of media ranging from etching, drypoint, lithograph, to linocut. The 100 remarkable etchings that make up the Vollard Suite are generally regarded as the finest of his achievements in printmaking. The Vollard Suite, created between 1930-37, was named after it publisher, the French art dealer and critic, Ambroise Vollard with whom Picasso had a long working relationship. The Suite itself comprises 73 sheets on five main themes; The Battle of Love, The Sculptors Studio, Rembrandt, The Minotaur and the Blind Minotaur. There are a further 27 sheets on disparate themes including 3 portraits of Ambroise Vollard (It is made up of 100 etchings and the entire suite comprises of 3 copies on parchment.Since an etching is considered the original work of an artist; there are a total of 303 original Vollard Suites. )

Chosen from a large volume of Pablo Picasso's graphic achievements, the Vollard Suite collection traces the erotic and passionate love affair between Pablo Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter, his model, and mistress. She captivated him and was the object of his "amour fou" (mad love). Pablo Picasso and Marie-Therese Walter met in 1927 and she soon became his inspiration for the Vollard Suite. Described as his "eternal" love, she was enraptured by Pablo Picasso.

Ambroise Vollard helped launch the careers of such respected artists as Renoir and Cezanne. He was a respected Paris picture dealer and publisher of limited-edition books, lithographs & etchings and his gallery was known as the centre for leading art figures in Paris and helped stimulate a new movement in art. The Vollard suite is one of the most internationally exhibited work of Art of the XXth century.

In 1972 the Collection went on auction for 90,000 Gns. ($226,800). The National Gallery of Australia is fortunate to have the entire suite in their gallery. It is unknown where all of the 303 (total copies from each format) of each etching are located. They are spread from museums to private collections and are considered to be some of the most highly desirable of all Picasso prints.

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