About This Artwork

Pablo Picasso
Spanish, worked in France, 1881–1973

Portrait of Sylvette David, 1954

Oil on canvas
130.7 x 97.2 cm (51 7/16 x 38 1/16 in.)
Signed, u.l.: Picasso
Dated on verso: 19.4.54./ 22.5.54./ 4.10.54.

Gift of Mary and Leigh Block, 1955.821

© 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, Picasso in Chicago, February 3–March 31, 1968, cat. 51, as Sylvette.

Art Institute and Asahi Shimbun (organizers), Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, cat. 42, as Portrait of Sylvette David, 1954; traveled to Nagaoka, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, April 20–May 29, 1994; Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, June 10–July 24, 1994; and Yokohama Museum of Art, August 6–September 25, 1994.

Art Institute of Chicago, Picasso and Chicago: 100 Years, 100 Works, February 20–May 12, 2013, cat. 204, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Kunsthalle Bremen, Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, February 22–June 22, 2014, cat. 49, as Portrait of Sylvette David, 1954.

Publication History

Jean-Paul Ollivier, “Une jeune fille de dix-neuf ans inspire à Picasso son époque la plus souriant: l’époque Sylvette,” Paris Match 281 (August 1954), p. 47 (ill.)

Georges Pernoud, “Picasso a vol d’oiseau,” Paris Match 323 (August 1955), p. 48 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 50, 4 (1956), p. 68 (ill.), as Sylvette Bleue-Violette.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 358, as Sylvette (Portrait of Mlle. D.).

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 16 (Paris: Cahiers d’Art, 1965), pp. 105 (ill.), 192, no. 315 (ill.), as Sylvette.

Charles C. Cunningham, Instituto de Arte de Chicago, El Mundo de los Museos (Madrid: Editorial Codex, S. A., 1967), pp. 14, 75 (ill.), figs. 67, 1, as Sylvette.

Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Pablo Picasso, Das Spätwerk. Malerei und Zeichnungen seit 1944, exh. cat. (Baden-Baden: Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, 1968), n.p., (ill).

Art Institute of Chicago, Picasso in Chicago, exh. cat. (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1968), pp. 48–9 (ill.), 115, cat. 51.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1970; reprinted, London: Thames and Hudson, 1977), pp. 122–23 (ill.), as Sylvette (Mlle. D.).

Klaus Gallwitz, Picasso Laureatus: Sein malerisches Werk seit 1945 (Lucerne: C. J. Bucher, 1971), p. 80 (ill.), no. 109, as Portrait of Mademoiselle D. (Sylvette).

Howard Greenfeld, Pablo Picasso: An Introduction (Chicago: Follett Publishing Company, 1971), pp. 154–55 (ill.), as Sylvette.

Mary Matthews Gedo, Picasso: Art as Autobiography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), p. 223, pl. 7.

A. James Speyer and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth Century European Paintings (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 26, 65, no. 3E1, ill., no., as Sylvette (Portrait of Mlle. D.).

Picasso in Italia, exh. cat. (Milan: Nuove edizioni Gabriele Mazzotta, 1990), p. 206 (ill.).

Carsten-Peter Warncke, Pablo Picasso 1881–1973, vol. 2 (Cologne: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 1992), p. 518 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, Masterworks of Modern Art from The Art Institute of Chicago, exh. cat. (Nagaoka, Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, 1994), pp. 132–33 (ill.), cat. 42, as Portrait of Sylvette David, 1954.

Larry Smolucha, The Visual Arts Companion (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice Hall, 1996), p. 80, fig. 3.8.

Marie-France Saurat, “La Légende d’un Génie du XXe Siècle,” in Picasso au Palais des Papes 25 ans après, exh. cat. (Avignon: Le Palais des Papes, 1995), p. 23 (ill.).

Wendy Ramshaw, Picasso’s Ladies: Jewellery by Wendy Ramshaw, exh. cat. (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1998), n.p., no. 17.

The Picasso Project, Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, and Sculpture: A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885–1973: The Fifties 1950–1955, vol. 1 (San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 2000), p. 233 (ill.), no. 54-211, as Sylvette.

Enrique Mallen, The On-Line Picasso Project (http://www.tamu.edu/mocl/picasso/), no. 54:07 (ill.).

Sotheby’s, London, Impressionist & Modern Art, Evening Sale, sale cat. (Sotheby’s, June 19, 2007), p. 148 (ill.) fig. 2, under lot 42, as Portrait de Sylvette David, 1954.

Stephanie D’Alessandro, Picasso and Chicago: 100 Years, 100 Works, exh. cat. (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 2013), pp. 23, 86–7, 110, fig. 10, pl. 78, cat. 204, as Portrait of Sylvette David.
Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), pp. 140–41 (ill.), no. 49 (ill.), as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Astrid Becker, “… and God Created Woman: The Changing Image of Women in the 1950s,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), pp. 155–57, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Astrid Becker, “Catalogue Raisonné of the Sylvette Series,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), pp. 280–81 (ill.), cat. 49, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Christoph Grunenberg, “Ornamental Arabesques and Inauthentic Lines: Picasso’s ‘Époque Sylvette’,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), p. 28, cat. 49, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Vera Hausdorff, “The Sylvette Series: Paintings and Drawings,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), pp. 93, 96, cat. 49, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Kai Hohenfeld, “In the Footsteps of Picasso on the Côte d’Azur: A Chronology,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), p. 263, cat. 49, fig. 10, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Detlef Stein, “‘Picasso must be rejoicing up in heaven!:’ Interview with Sylvette David,” in Christoph Grunenberg and Astrid Becker, eds., Sylvette, Sylvette, Sylvette: Picasso and the Model, exh. cat. (Bremen: Kunsthalle Bremen, 2014), p. 120, cat. 49, as Portrait of Sylvette David.

Ownership History

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, acquired directly from the artist [according to an undated document from Galerie Rosengart in curatorial file]. Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne, 1955 [according to the letter cited above]; Mr. and Mrs. Leigh Block, Chicago, 1955; given to the Art Institute, 1955.




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