Paris, P. Rosenberg, 1920
Le Tricorne was commissioned by Diaghilev after a trip to Spain with the Ballets Russes in 1916 inspired him to create a new work which incorporated traditional Spanish folk dances. Through Stravinsky he met the young Spanish composer Manuel de Falla and also enlisted legendary flamenco dancer Felix Fernandez Garcia to assist Leonid Massine with the choreography. In 1917 Diaghilev and Massine went on a grand tour of Spain where de Falla and Felix introduced them to dancers and performances in Zaragoza, Toledo, Salamanca, Burgos, Sevilla, Córdoba, and Granada.
With the music and choreography in place and a successful London season giving him the financial means, Diaghilev instructed his favourite Spanish artist to produce the set and costume designs. Picasso moved to London in May 1919 to work on the project and produced some twenty different studies for stage sets, at least four for the drop curtain and approximately 30 for costumes and decor. The drawings which were finally chosen for the ballet are reproduced in this album.
Picasso's designs reflect his Spanish heritage and Cubist style, combining classical forms with the bold, bright colours distinctive to the experimental Ballets Russes. He relished the opportunity to weave the visual arts with performance, and what was initially an ephemeral set of sketches has become a significant part of his oeuvre.
Limited edition, one of 50 deluxe copies, this being number 40, from a total edition of 250, 4to (28 x 20.5 cm); 63 reproductions (31 with pochoir colouring) and an etching on Arches, signed and numbered in pencil by the artist, with full margins, loose as issued, each plate blindstamped P.R. on the lower right corner; folder with title and justification on japon, illegible dedication to title, unsophisticated tape repairs to folder, slight age-toning to plates; in the original cloth backed marbled chemise, label pasted to upper cover, black ties, an excellent example.
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