Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picasso Intrigue

There are endless delicious stories that come out of France. This week, a trove of 271 uncatalogued works by Picasso turned up in the hands of this man, 71 year old retiree Pierre le Guennec, on the French Riviera. He is an electrician and worked in Picasso's home from 1970-1973, and he said "the Master and his wife gave them to me, in a trash bag." Hmmm. Picasso's family is not so sure of that, and has sued the electrician for theft. Another Picasso story, cloaked in Mystery!
Most of the pieces found are on paper~ studies, lithos, collages, and the like; no paintings. Picasso was prolific, constantly creating in so many media, and it was not uncommon for artists to pay workers or meals in artwork, though for sure Picasso is not just "another artist." I love his ceramic pieces, but none of those were in the trash bag. Several notebooks were found in Pierre's collection. A Picasso notebook was once stolen from the Picasso Museum in Paris, valued at $7MM~
Do you like Picasso's works? I do! Don't miss the Picasso Museum in Paris; housed in the fantastic Hotel Sale, it is a wonderful setting for a museum and for Picasso in particular; it is closed now until some time in 2012. One of my favorites is this portrait of mistress & muse Dora Maar~
Several years ago a woman in Florida bought a painting signed Picasso at her neighbors garage sale for $2. Turned out it was original, but stolen. There are stories of an original Jackson Pollack painting bought for $5 at a thrift store and an original Declaration of Independence bought for $2.48 at another thrift; can you imagine?
I also love Picasso's grand format works, like the Demoiselles d'Avignon; this is in the MOMA in New York, and a spectacular piece to see in person~
I'm going to follow this new Picasso story with great interest. If you could find similar works for $2 at a thrift store or garage sale, which one would you hope to find....or maybe you have already had the good luck to find a great piece??


  1. I hadn't heard this story yet -can you just imagine? Oh that litigation is going to go on for some time I bet. I would rather find an original Declaration of Independance because it would thrill my husband to no end. I once bought a map out of a garage, covered in cobwebs, at an estate sale for $2. It turned out to be from the 1600's and I sold it for $6,000. Now I wish we still had it.

  2. This is an adventurous story for sure! I love the stories from France...they make my imagination run WiLd~~~~ Thanks for sharing.

  3. It is so interesting, I agree Andrea! Many artists did destroy or give away renderings and sketches, not thinking of any value!

    Thank you for the shout about my giveaway from Fifi Flowers.


    Art by Karena

  4. Woman with Book by Picasso is my ALL time FAVORITE... if only the Norton Simon would have a yard sale... le sigh!


    You can see... I painted it too... http://www.fififlowers.com/2008/08/noon-feeling-like-artist-again.html

  5. Good lord. Many artists did indeed give things away. And the Picasso family must be in dire straights to sue an electrician. Pity what greed will do.

  6. I keep waiting for the Holy Grail to show up at my Goodwill. :)

    I now have a button on my sidebar for the FIFI giveaway. Sent out a few emails to some who will be VERY interested. :)

  7. Great Post as well! I'm going to shoot it over to Stacey at Quintessence. It is right up her alley, keep us abreast of the development. Try as I might, I cannot make myself like Picasso. I have read several books about him to turn myself around, but I can't reform myself, and feel hopelessly bourgeois!

  8. Hi Andrea, my jaw dropped when I heard that story on TV5!!... hmmm! I think it's valued at 30m or something..Picasso is such a favorite artist of mine, and I agree, the Picasso Museum in Paris is not to be missed (when it reopens)...I also love the Musee Picasso in Antibes, not so much for the art as for the fact that he painted most of the painting inside that building, and it is a spectacular setting!

    Lovely post as always...and thanks again for putting the word out about Chic Provence Design Tour!



  9. Great article.

    my website; visit us