Pablo Picasso, Vase Gros Oiseau Vert. Height: 57cm, Est. GBP25,000 - £35,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s London announced the auction of a private collection of over 100 ceramics by Pablo Picasso on 19 March 2013. These characterful plates, bowls and vases, transformed by Picasso into owls, goats, men, women, bulls and fishes, and produced at the renowned Madoura pottery, represent the full scope of the artist’s experimentation with the art form. The individual pieces range from around £2,000 – £30,000. 

Picasso stunned the art world when, in 1947, as one of the most famous western artists, and approaching 65 years of age, he absconded from post-war Paris to undertake an apprenticeship at the then little-known Madoura pottery in Vallauris, in rural Southern France. The playful works he created in the region over two decades, of animals and people sculpted in clay, represent a critical period in Picasso’s late career when he sought to further immortalise his place in the history of art. Pottery, one of the oldest of all art forms, had been produced in Vallauris since Roman times; by mastering this traditional craft he sought to join the long history of artisans who had worked in the area for millennia. 

The years Picasso spent in the region are understood to have been among the happiest of his life. At Madoura, he met his future wife and famed muse Jacqueline Roque, who was to remain his partner for over 20 years until his death in 1973. During his first year at the pottery, Picasso and his lover Françoise Gilot welcomed a son, Claude, who shared his name with the Patron Saint of Potters. 

Sotheby’s auction coincides with a major exhibition currently showing at the Museu de Picasso de Barcelona, a display of major ceramics donated to the museum by the Picasso’s wife Jacqueline: ‘Picasso Ceramics: Jacqueline’s Gift to Barcelona’. 

Alongside the Picasso ceramics, this single-owner auction will include a selection of major prints by Picasso, Joan Miró and Andy Warhol, and will coincide with Sotheby’s bi-annual auction of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints, also on 19th March. Fuller details on the ceramic and print works will follow in a separate release. Please do let us know if you would like any further information in the meantime. 


Pablo Picasso, Vase Azteque Aux Quatre Visages. Height: 50cm, Est. £18,000 - £30,000. Photo: Sotheby's.