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Friends of Te Papa purchase Picasso Picador jug

14 October 2015

The Friends of Te Papa, an independent body which supports the national museum, have purchased a Picasso jug and gifted it to the national collection.

The jug arrived at the museum this month, after being purchased for $9,500 at a Sotheby’s auction in London in March this year.

Pablo Picasso’s Picador is an earthenware jug with painted and glazed decoration, produced in 1952.

It was designed by Picasso and produced at the Madoura pottery workshop in the French Riviera.

Standing just 13.5 cm tall, the jug is one of a limited edition of five hundred. The jug gifted to Te Papa is catalogue number 162.

Te Papa curator of decorative art and design Justine Olsen says the jug complements the three prints by Picasso which are already in Te Papa’s collection.

“Drawing on Picasso’s love of the Spanish bullfight, Picador depicts on one side the bull about to be lanced, and on the other the Picador on horseback,” Olsen says.

“Picasso utilises all elements of the jug’s form: a snake motif wraps around the handle, while the figures are depicted in red against the black-glazed background of the jug’s body.”

Friends of Te Papa President, Elizabeth Kay, said the Friends were delighted to be able to gift the jug to the national collection.

“Over the years we have raised funds to support a range of acquisitions. Some have been commissioned works, such as a specially-designed lectern for Te Papa’s marae Rongomaraeroa. Others are significant international works likePicador.”

The jug will be displayed at Te Papa as part of an exhibition in 2016 which looks at how artists are informed by the works of the past.

Picador illustrates how Picasso drew on the Greek ceramics tradition of red-figure decoration for his inspiration.

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