Jacqueline au Chevalet, 1956
23kt gold medallion
42 (D) cm; 2684 grs circa
Edition of 20 +2 Artist samples and 2 author samples
Atelier Hugo Edition
It was in 1956 when Pablo Picasso found that his ideas and designs could be perfectly translated into the medium of precious metals with the assistance of the incredibly skilled goldsmith François Hugo. Famous for his cubism, deconstruction of form, and his widely commercialised ceramic works, the conception of his medallions drew clear inspiration and direction in his designs. It is hard not to miss that the medallion Jacqueline au Chevalet was drawn from the ceramic plate of its namesake, also created in 1956. Hammering the precious metals into specially cast moulds taken from the artist’s models, Hugo’s incredibly meticulous craft mirrored Picasso’s perfectionism when it came to the execution of the medallion.
Given that these designs were initially never intended to be commercialised, but as Picasso’s private treasures, Jacqueline au Chevalet is an excellent early example of the incredible designs in the years to follow, as well as a symbol of the collaboration between these most iconic of twentieth century artists and goldsmiths. When Picasso finally permitted for the distribution of his medallions, only few outside of Picasso’s inner circle knew about their existence. Given its careful selection, design and need for approval by Picasso, Jacqueline au Chevalet as an early work reveals the special attachment the artist had towards the medallions.