“271 unknown Pablo Picasso paintings and drawings discovered in France”

Say WHAAAAAAT?!?!

You already know we LOVE art here @ .KEEPiTiGHT., well, Pablo Picasso happens to be one of my personal all-time favorites.  the man was amazingly prolific, turning the art world and how we thought of shape, ON ITS (triangular) HEAD.  You know when that headline caught my eye I clicked til I got the whole picture.

via AP

From http://www.telegraph.uk.co:

A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least €60 million (£50 million).

The electrician, who once worked for Picasso, squirreled away the trove of artworks inside a trunk in the garage of his home on the French Riviera. The cache, dating from the artist’s most creative period from 1900 to 1932, includes lithographs, portraits, watercolours, and sketches, plus nine Cubist collages said to be worth €40 million (£34 million)

The pieces, dating from 1900 to 1932, include portraits of Picasso’s first wife, Olga, nine highly prized cubist collages, a watercolour from his “blue” period, studies of his hand on canvas, gouache, around 30 lithographs and 200 drawings.

Art experts swiftly concluded that not even the greatest counterfeiter could have copied such a wealth of different styles, and there was no way they could have faked the classification numbers on some of them.

With the works authenticated, six Picasso heirs decided to file for charges against ‘persons unknown’. Police swooped on Mr Le Guennec’s flat in Mouans Sartoux, near Cannes, arresting him on suspicion of handling illegally obtained goods. Days later, they seized the entire collection, which is currently being held in a vault in Nanterre, outside Paris at France’s Central Office for the Fight against Traffic in Cultural Goods, part of the Interior Ministry.

During questioning, Mr Le Guennec insisted the entire haul came from gifts from “the master” but then apparently changed his story, saying they were a gift from Picasso’s second wife Jaqueline Roque, who committed suicide in 1986. He said he was given the works after installing alarm systems at three of the artist’s Riviera homes in the three years until his death in 1973 — La Californie, the villa he bought in Cannes in 1955, his Chateau de Vauvenargues and Notre-Dame-de-Vie, the farmhouse in Mougins where he died.

But Picasso’s heirs pointed out that the artist was reluctant to give away any works, obsessively kept everything and forbade people to enter his studio. “To give such a large quantity (away) frankly doesn’t stand up. It was part of his life,” Claude Picasso  said. He said that many of the pieces were not even dated, which, he said signified they should never have left the studio. “He always dated, signed and wrote dedications in his gifts, knowing that some people would go on to sell them to meet their needs.”

Mr Le Guennec’s wife insisted the works had been given by Jacqueline Roque in good faith. “We are not thieves. We have nothing to be ashamed of,” she said.A protracted legal battle is expected to ensue to determine the works’ rightful owners.

In the meantime, the pieces are a goldmine for Picasso experts. “Above all what counts is to retrieve a collection which is of historic importance for art history,” said a lawyer for the artist’s family.

Read the full article here.

via Getty Images

Oh boy.  I don’t know how Picasso’s heirs would even go about trying to prove theft, but I do know the provenance is shaky, and the legal battle is going to be a looooooooong road for all parties involved.  I just hope these works will surface so the rest of the world can lay our eyes upon them!

3 thoughts on ““271 unknown Pablo Picasso paintings and drawings discovered in France”

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