TLD Law is currently assisting a client in determining whether a family heirloom, featured in this photo, is an authentic Pablo Picasso bronze Cubist sculpture. The sculpture was purchased many years ago from an estate sale in Connecticut. It bears all the markings of one of more than sixty Cubist paintings, sculptures, and drawings the artist made of his lover Fernande Olivier in 1909. Picasso dedicated a significant amount of his time depicting Cubism and is widely regarded as a major contributor if not one of the founders to the then avant-garde movement.
Picasso modeled the bust in Paris after the couple returned from a summer trip to Spain. As in his early Cubist paintings, the shape of her sculpted head is faceted into smaller units. Intended to be seen in the round, the composition changes form when viewed from different angles. The head’s slight tilt and the neck’s sweeping curves give the impression of movement, as if she is about to look over her shoulder. Cubism’s depiction of simpler shapes to mimic three dimensional reality was a groundbreaking trend when it was introduced.
Since there have been many attempts to copy Picasso’s work, the sculpture is being sent to “the” preeminent expert in Picasso art, Claude Picasso, his son. Claude now works to administer his father’s estate and his works. Part of that duty includes determining whether supposed works of his father are indeed genuine. The prestige of owning genuine and valuable works of art have driven demand high enough where a black market industry of stolen art and counterfeit reproductions now thrives. Art pieces that carry Picasso’s name are no stranger from scrutiny, and Claude’s endorsement offers strong credibility to indicate a genuine work of Picasso.
Check back with TLD Law soon to find out whether this is in fact an invaluable Picasso work of art!