Donna (Woman)

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Object Name: 
Donna (Woman)
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 28.8 cm, W: 9.6 cm, D: 7.7 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
In 1946, Picasso made a trip to Vallauris, a town near Antibes, France, which is known for its production of ceramics. There, at the Madoura Pottery, he made a few small figures. The following year, he went back to the pottery and began to make work in earnest. In 1948, Picasso moved to Vallauris, where he lived until 1953 with the painter Françoise Gilot, and he returned to the Madoura Pottery annually. In 1955, Picasso left Vallauris, but he continued his relationship with the pottery. Inspired by ancient Greek mythology, he made several series of nymphs and fauns in ceramic, and later he developed this subject in glass. Picasso’s glass nymphs and fauns were made from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s with Egidio Costantini, founder of La Fucina degli Angeli (Forge of the angels) on Murano. Costantini was introduced to a coterie of elite artists by the famous American gallerist and collector Peggy Guggenheim. In 1954, he met Picasso in Vallauris, but it was Guggenheim who brought Picasso to Venice. Picasso did not work directly with Costantini. Unlike his work in ceramic, with which he was personally engaged, Picasso had little to no experience with glass. Instead, Picasso sent Costantini a collection of poems by André Verdet, Faunes et nymphes de Pablo Picasso (1952), which Picasso had illustrated. He challenged Costantini to translate the drawings into glass. Two well-known and complete sets of blue glass nymphs and fauns, made by the Fucina in 1964, are housed in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Cat. no. 45/32/57. The figure came with a letter, signed by Egidio Costantini in 1957, certifying that the object was designed by Picasso and made in 1956 by the Fucina degli Angeli. Formerly in the collection of Franz-Raban Freiherr von Canstein (1906–2005), Germany. Published in “Fucina degli angeli,” Domus, no. 327, February 1957, p. 35. For more information, see Egidio Costantini e i suoi artisti. Sculture in vetro della Fucina degli Angeli: Da Picasso a Fontana, 1954–1996 = Egidio Costantini and His Artists. Sculptures in Glass from the Fucina degli Angeli: From Picasso to Fontana, 1954–1996, Piacenza, Italy: Fattidarte, 1996.
Nymph and Faun
Fischer, Jurgen, Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass, hot-sculpted in the mass (a massiccio), iridized to give the figure a matte surface. Female figure with small head and long hair down the back; long thick neck; torso with large, unevenly-sized breasts. The tubular arms are joined at the hands in front of the figure. The lower portion of the figure is abstracted, unarticulated, and hollow; the figure stands on a circular glass base.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2011 (2012) illustrated, p. 56; BIB# AI87745
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 33) (2012) illustrated, p. 116, left; BIB# AI87134
Recent Acquisitions: Modern Glass (2011) illustrated, p. 15, left; BIB# AI86937
Europaisches Glas & Studioglas. Teil 1 (2011) illustrated, 344; BIB# 121415
Title Unknown (Domus) (1957)