CAIRO – 24 March 2022: French artist Francis Picabia's painting "Pavonia" was sold for 10 million euros at Sotheby's surreal works auction.
“Pavonia” is one of the most vivid examples of Francis Picabia's distinctive transparent paintings. Picabia had been commissioned to paint “Pavonia” by influential art dealer Leonce Rosenberg, who had commissioned several artists to decorate his Parisian apartment.
Picabia was in charge of Rosenberg's wife's bedroom, with “Pavonia” being the central, most massive, and most lively work.
“Pavonia” is among a group of works that are now considered the most impressive type of transparencies painted by Picabia; it includes a perfect synthesis of impenetrable enigma, combined with the ingenuity of superimposed motifs and the visual power of the composition.
In the painting, "Picabia" used multiple layers of overlapping images, these layers achieve a cinematic effect. The first few works in this series were painted in 1927 and the early examples were displayed at an exhibition in Paris in 1928.
Like other works in the series, “Pavonia” incorporates cinematic overprinting techniques into the painting to create what director Gaston Ravel describes as a "fading out." However, Picabia's works push this concept further through an immersive and sensory surreal experience.
It is noteworthy that Francis Marie Martinez de Picabia, a French painter, was born in 1879. His name was associated with several schools, including Impressionism, Pointillism and Cubism. He was one of the first major figures in the Dada movement in the United States and France. He was later associated with Surrealism for a brief period.