WITHOUT TITLE (LA FÔRET)
WITHOUT TITLE (LA FÔRET)
CA. 1947-4
BLUE INK AND PENCIL ON PAPER
SIGNED LOWER LEFT: "F.P."
27 X 21 CM
PROVENANCE

PRIVATE COLLECTION, PARIS

CERTIFICATE

EXPERT REPORT N° 3487 BY PIERRE CALTE, 10 NOVEMBER 2014, PARIS

With subversive wit and singular lack of principle, the restless quick-change artist Francis Picabia made his impact felt in the world of art and literature alike, producing an œuvre that encompasses contradictory facets and styles to a degree virtually unparalleled among artists of the twentieth century. Considered a maverick of modernism, he went down in art history as a brilliant painter and poet. As a freethinker Picabia opposed political and stylistic subordination of any kind. This attitude finds expression in our drawing, whose unique artistic design testifies to the artist’s cosmopolitan mentality and humoristic painting manner.


 


The drawing depicts a Pierrot who, perspectivally exaggerated, gazes up at the viewer from below with an oversize head, a slightly open mouth, and an impish – indeed, almost offensive – expression in his eyes. That expression also characterizes his facial features which, although reduced to nothing but a few lines, convey the harlequin’s expressive and mischievous nature. Furnished with misshapen eyebrows, outsize ears and crooked fingers, this Pierrot is reminiscent of a comical figure from Venetian theatre. At the same time, with its caricatural character, the depiction also seems to portray the artist himself, the provocateur who broke with convention and kept the world around him on its toes with his wit and charm.