'Les Dames de Mougins' is an original etching by Pablo Picasso, executed in November of 1963. As with many of his works, this particular image functions as something of a self-portrait: The artist in the print, certainly an analogue for Picasso himself, seems to emerge and extend from the right, a pallet in his hand and a brush reaching out in the act of creation. To the left, a sensuous and curving nude woman sits upright in an erotic Venus pose, her arms reaching behind her head and her hair cascading down her body. Indeed, as the artist reaches out, it is unclear if the woman in the image is the model in the studio or if she is in fact the painting. Picasso produced a number of prints in November of that year on the subject of the artist and model. In many of these, such as 'Peintre et modèle' (Blotch 1132), however, the distinction between model and artwork is made clear by the inclusion of the artist's easel. By removing the easel, 'Les Dames de Mougins' becomes a modern retelling of the classical story of Pygmalion and Galatea, where the artist falls in love with his artwork of ideal womanhood and she comes to life.
Mougins is a region of southwest France near Cannes where Picasso purchased a villa in 1961, and where he lived and worked until his death in 1973. He loved this location and called the villa the 'home of his dreams.' This etching thus becomes a symbol of the artist at his leisure near the end of his career; a consideration of his own genius and legacy in the form of the artist's most basic relationship – artist and model.
Etching in black on cream wove paper
Eau-forte, 18 November 1963
signed 'Picasso' in pencil, below image, lower right
edition 79/150, in pencil, below image, lower left
Reference: Blotch 1131
4.38 x 9.25 inches, plate
11.75 x 11.125 inches, sheet
18 x 20 inches, frame
Framed to conservation standards using archival materials; includes 100 percent rag matting and archival mounting materials, and Museum Glass; presented in a vintage 22-karat gold-leaf closed-corner cassetta-style moulding.
Overall good condition; sheet with full margins and deckled edges; slight mat burn from previous framing; frame in excellent condition; presented in a vintage moulding with minor retouched imperfections