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Prints and Drawings
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Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, active France, 1881–1973
Printer: Priester Frères, Paris, active mid-20th century
Printer: Atelier Duval, Paris, active mid-20th century
Printer: Robert Blanchet, Paris, active mid-20th century
Publisher: Jonquières and Berggruen, Paris, active mid-20th century

40 Dessins de Picasso en Marge du Buffon (40 Drawings by Picasso in the Margins of Buffon)

1943, published 1957

Book, with 40 drawings and one linocut

sheet: 37.3 × 28.1 cm (14 11/16 × 11 1/16 in.)
The Ernest C. Steefel Collection of Graphic Art, Gift of Ernest C. Steefel
1958.52.172
In 1936 Ambroise Vollard commissioned illustrations by Picasso for the comte de Buffon’s eighteenth-century encyclopedia, Histoire naturelle. The book, with Picasso’s thirty-one prints of animals, was published in 1942. A year later, Picasso brought his lover, the Surrealist photographer and painter Dora Maar, a copy of the Histoire naturelle that he had dedicated to her. While at her studio, he decorated the margins and blank pages with human heads, animals, and fantastical creatures, with Maar herself as a bird-woman sphinx on the title page, shown here. The dedication, “per Dora Maar / tan rébufona!” (for Dora Maar, so pretty!), is a pun on the name Buffon and the Catalan word for “pretty,” bufó.
Geography: 
Made in France
Status: 
By appointment
Culture: 
Spanish
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Books
Bibliography: 

Susan Greenberg Fisher et al., Picasso and the Allure of Language, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2009), 100, 136–39, no. 17, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.