Pablo Picasso’s Suite Vollard

By: Albert Scaglione

I began collecting Picasso works in the 1960s, and in the 1970s I was lucky enough to spend time with Parisian art dealer Henri Petiet, who purchased Picasso’s Suite Vollard and paid the artist to sign his significant pieces over time. As I learned more about the artist’s unique relationship with Petiet, I began to develop a passion for Picasso’s art. The time I spent with Petiet also launched my fascination for Picasso’s most notable graphic achievement, The Suite Vollard.

The Suite Vollard originated in 1933 when Picasso asked French art dealer Ambroise Vollard if he could purchase two paintings from his private collection. Instead of selling the works to Picasso, however, Vollard suggested a trade: 100 copperplates that included three portraits of Vollard in exchange for a Renoir and a Cezanne. Picasso chose significant works that he felt Vollard would enjoy to create the copperplate collection. Suite Vollard is unique in that it demonstrates Picasso’s exploration of classical mythology and features creatures such as the Minotaur, with whom Picasso deeply identified as an artist.

Other themes featured in Suite Vollard include the battle of love, the artist and etching master, Rembrandt, the sculptor’s studio, and the aforementioned portraits of Vollard. There are only 313 examples of each work of Suite Vollard in existence, and Musee Picasso owns the canceled copperplates. Hand-signed Suite Vollard prints remain rare and highly sought-after. Vollard and Picasso’s agreement did not include signatures on the prints. They were signed later as in the example of Petiet.

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About Albert Scaglione
Originally launching his career in the mechanical engineering industry, Albert Scaglione taught mechanical engineering sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. During his professorship, Albert Scaglione conducted extensive research into heat shields for supersonic transport and prospective missions to Mars. These investigations that Albert Scaglione participated in were underwritten by NASA but were ultimately discontinued by the government. Faced with few options as a phD mechanical engineer working in the aerospace industryother than delving into weapons delivery systems, Albert Scaglione decided to redirect the course of his career. In 1969, acting on the counsel of a friend, Albert Scaglione established the Park West Gallery, an art gallery and auctioneering firm located in Southfield, Michigan. Traveling to Paris to begin generating business for his gallery, Albert Scaglione had the opportunity to meet Yaacov Agam and Victor Vasarely, with whom he forged strong relationships. Albert Scaglione became one of the biggest dealers for these renowned kinetic and Op artists. In the early years of his gallery operations, Albert Scaglione developed a close business bond with artist Peter Max. Other artists Albert Scaglione has promoted heavily in the American sphere are M.C. Escher, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró. In addition to the Southfield, Michigan, location, Albert Scaglione’s Park West Gallery has another location in Miami, Florida. Albert Scaglione’s Park West Gallery art auctions are held in the United States and Canada, while the affiliate company, Park West at Sea, puts on art actions across the globe and in venues such as cruise ships. Throughout the years, Albert Scaglione has successfully supplied fine artwork to more than a million customers worldwide.

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