Picasso. Max Jacob.
MAX JACOB. Double Signed Litho.Montrouge [Paris]: 1910, 1910.
Original Litho. Picasso. Max Jacob. MAX JACOB. Double Signed Litho. Montrouge [Paris] (Seine). 1910. 14" 7/8 X 10" 3/4 on plain paper stock printed in black. Number 17 of only 30 copies. A rare early illustration of Picasso's close friend, Max Jacob, done in celebration of Jacob's conversion to Christianity. Jacob, who had Jewish origins, claimed to have had a vision of Christ in 1909, causing his conversion. The illustration of Jacob [the first of Picasso's drawings of Max Jacob] seated comfortably in a fine armchair, dressed in his three piece suit, his dome appropriately receptive. The printed text: [Top] A mon ami Max Jacob / Picasso .10 / 22 R. Victor Hugo / Montrouge (Seine) - [Middle] L'archange foudroyé n'eut que le temps / de desserrer sa cravate . On aurait sit qu'il / priait encore./ C. Max Jacob. Signed in pencil with his new Christian name: "C. Max Jacob" & by "Picasso" at the bottom. A very good or better example of this rare piece - Max Jacob is regarded as an important link between the symbolists & the surrealists, as can be seen in his prose poems Le cornet à dés (The Dice Box, 1917. Throughout the year of 1901, Picasso traveled to Barcelona & Paris for art exhibitions. During an exhibition in Paris, Picasso met Max Jacob. Max Jacob was a poet, painter, & art critic with connections in the Parisian cultural scene. The two artists developed a friendship after Jacob left an admiring note for Picasso at the art gallery displaying Picasso's work (Richardson Vol. I, 203). Jacob introduced Picasso to the French language and to French theatre; Jacob was also an actor. Jacob took Picasso to see operas which possibly included I Pagliacci & La Bohème (Richardson Vol. I, 338). "At night there were frequent visits to the cabarets of Montmartre such as the Chat Noir, and, when tickets could be found, to the Moulin Rouge" (Penrose Picasso 76). Picasso & his friends also enjoyed the artistic atmosphere of Le Lapin Agile. Artists & writers would congregate at the small café to listen to recitals, exchange ideas & celebrate special occasions such as the opening of an exhibition (Penrose Picasso 117). The walls of the café were lined with work by artists that were used as payment for debts. Theatrical entertainment was a prominent part of Picasso's social life in Paris. By 1904, Picasso had established a foothold in Paris and would remain in the cultural center of Europe for the rest of his life. Picasso & Max Jacob cultivated their talents in a dwelling known as the Bateau Lavoir. According to Penrose, this place was ". . . composed it seemed of nothing but lofts & cellars, all in such a sad state of repair. . . " (Picasso 96). Artists of all endeavors were attracted to this bohemian style of living. Picasso's neighbors included painters, sculptors, writers & actors (Penrose Picasso 102). One of Picasso's most influential friends entered his life in 1905: Guillaume Apollinaire. "From the first encounter, Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire established a creative dialogue that fostered and inspired some of their finest art & poetry". Apollinaire was a poet & playwright, identified as a Surrealist, who kept close connections with literary & artistic figures in Paris including Max Jacob & André Salmon. He was a great source for Picasso to meet writers & theatre artists. Many of Picasso's friends encouraged him to frequent the theatre with artists & poets from Paris (Picasso Penrose 177). Even though Picasso was not in Paris, he managed to find groups of artistic individuals to stay abreast of cultural gossip & happenings. Picasso's connections with writers led him to create several illustrations for books of poetry for friends. For example, during summer 1910 in Cadaques, Catalonia, painting with Derain, Picasso was commissioned to illustrate a poetic novel written by Max Jacob titled Saint Matorel issued by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in 1911. (Penrose Picasso 179). This was only the first of five collections of poetry by Max Jacob that contained illustrations by Picasso. Picasso's illustrations were Cubist representations of the text which included people & places from Jacob's novel. Creating designs based on text & synopses foreshadows his work with the theatre. Picasso's close association with writing, particularly poetry, was also an influence on his work when he turned to playwriting. During the war, Picasso continued to frequent the café terraces to meet old & new friends. Artists & writers were still in attendance, but they mingled with those returning from the war front. Max Jacob was one of the few who stayed in Paris during the war; his health kept him from being part of the military. By 1943, Picasso had set eyes on a new model. Her name was Françoise Gilot. She was a young painter, writer, & critic. Françoise became Picasso's lover in 1945; they remained together for almost a decade. Just before Picasso began his affair with Françoise, he suffered the loss of yet another friend. During the spring of 1944, Picasso learned of the death of Max Jacob. Picasso proudly attended his memorial service. "The poet had been arrested, for no other reason than that he was born a Jew, at the Abbey of Saint-Benoît where he had lived as a lay brother for many years. He was sent to a concentration camp at Drancy where he died shortly after" (Penrose Picasso 357).
Item #32441 Price: $88,000.00