The Vollard Suite, 1930-1937
unbound suite of 100 etchings on Montval laid paper
33.5 x 44.5 cm each (approx.)
National Gallery of Canada (no. 7169-7268)
Ambroise Vollard (1866–1939), the legendary avant-garde art dealer and print publisher who presented Picasso's first Paris exhibition in 1901, commissioned the artist to create a group of 100 etchings between 1930 and 1937. "The Sculptor’s Studio," one of the larger thematic groups within the suite, reflects the artist's interest in classical sculpture at that time. His muse and young lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, with her wide, oval face and Roman nose, features prominently in many of these etchings. These images of classical tranquility in the studio contrast with darker, violent scenes featuring the Minotaur, the bull–man figure of classical myth that appeared increasingly in his work in the 1930s.