Peintre ramassant son panceau

 
Series
Le Chef d'oeuvre inconnu
Artist
Creation date
Materials
etching
Mark Descriptions
inscribed in ink below image L.L.: 62/99 | signed in ink below image, L.R.: Picasso
Credit line
Commissions and the Carl H. Lieber Fund
Accession number
69.5
Collection
Not Currently On View

In 1927, Ambroise Vollard commissioned Picasso to illustrate Honoré de Balzac's strange 1837 tale Le Chef d'oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece).

Balzac related a story of a celebrated painter who had secretly worked for ten years on a portrait of his model into which he had invested all of his creativity.  When the "masterpiece" was shown, viewers saw only an impenetrable web of lines and colors, which were incomprehensible to everyone but the artist.

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