Past Exhibition: The School Of Paris

Art Trove, a private museum, starts 2012 with a splendid exhibition, Pablo Picasso and the School of Paris, on display from January 12 to February 20. The School of Paris was a group of French artists who flourished in the era between the two world wars with Pablo Picasso as their leading light. The show consists of two categories: art works and photographs.

Art Works

The artworks include original prints, drawings, lithographs, etchings and sculpture. The drawings have certificates of authenticity by the world�s leading experts on the genre. The prints are mainly hand signed and from Limited Editions. All are well-researched, in good condition and catalogued professionally with full academic and historical details.

Picasso is well-represented in our collection with an original-signed drawing, a fine colour linocut, three choice works from the Vollard Suite of 1933 and several later etchings. All these works are hand signed and straddle different periods in the artist�s career.

The Vollard Suite showcases Picasso�s superb exploration of classicism. It was published by Ambroise Vollard , one of the greatest art dealers and publishers of his time. His championship of several of the most celebrated artists then deserves the thanks of later generations. His artists, to name but a few, included Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Rousseau, Rouault and Picasso.

Picasso met Vollard in Paris in 1901 and worked with him over an extended period. Vollard had been instrumental in the production of he works in the Vollard Suite, although his untimely death in 1939 meant that the management of the Suite passed into the hands of the famous dealer Petiet. The publication of the hundred etchings created by Picasso between 1930 and 1937 was one of Vollard�s most impressive undertakings. The Vollard Suite contains many themes which reveal Picasso�s obsessions, including the classically derived subjects of the Minotaur (man-beast) and Pygmalion (the artist obsessed with the model) and also his passion for woman. The works depict his beautiful young model and lover, Marie Therese. Picasso�s love of women is always reflected in his art.

One of the most interesting of the Picasso pieces is the Portrait of Mr B Cymermann, an original drawing in ink on paper that was signed and inscribed by the artist. When the artist�s daughter viewed this forcertification she did not know exactly who the sitter was but concluded it was one of her father�s friends who was involved in the Peace Movement so avidly supported by her father.

The collection includes works by the renowned Marc Chagall. Three of Chagall�s drawings have an excellent provenance: they came from his son David McNiel, who sold them, no doubt, in a time of austerity. They include an early work of a nude in classical style, a picture of the Bridge where the artist proposed to his wife and a watercolour of a nude woman carrying flowers standing out against a dark background. This subject very often features in Chagall�s paintings. These works have been featured in many prominent exhibitions over the years.

Salvador Dali�s works are also featured. There is one drawing, a bronze sculpture and a group of six etchings, in their portfolio of issue, from the Conquest of the Cosmos suite. Each is signed in pencil by the artist and numbered XL/CLXXXXV. Dali�s works are hysterical, lyrical and surreal all at the same time.

Besides the above, there are a number of works in the collection by Henri Matisse, Paul Caesar Helleu, George Braque, Jean Cocteau and Raoul Dufy. This show also features a lithograph and an etching by the Impressionist artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, although he is outside the School of Paris. At the time these were made, it was not the practice for artists to sign their works. These two pieces are very typical of the artist�s oeuvre. His nude figure of a young bather shows an innocent and charming young girl. His magisterial portrait of his young son eating a biscuit is an early example of colour lithography at its best.

The Photographs

The photos are of famous artists taken by famous photographers. The photographers include some of the greatest names in their genre from that period.

Brassai was one of the greatest photographers of our age and we have three beautiful examples of his work. The finest shows his great friend and confidant, Pablo Picasso and was the photo Brassai took when they first met. A later portrait of an older Picasso and Brassai was made for �Picasso & Co�, a book which Brassai wrote. There are a number of works by the noted photographer Robert Doisneau, including his iconic portraits of Fernand Leger and Alberto Giacometti.

The largest selection, however, is by the famous Photographer Andre Villers. A new Museum has recently opened in Mouguins, in the South of France, called �Mus�e de la Photographie Andr� Villers�. Although the new Museum heavily features Villers works it also shows photographs by other giants of the oeuvre. There are several Picasso photographs by Villers in our show but our best example might be the portrait of Salvador Dali taken at the Ritz Hotel in 1966. Another portrait of Dali, by Phillippe Halsman, shows a maniacal face staring into the distance.

These historic photos all either bear the photographer�s signature or blind stamp.

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