Item #2744 [Ode à Picasso.]. Jean Cocteau.
[Ode à Picasso.]
Autograph Text Variant of Cocteau’s Ode à Picasso

[Ode à Picasso.]

around 1916. . In canvas-covered notebook (sold by Chapron Coquelin Suc.r; 34, Rue de Seine). Written on rectos. MS leaves are loose. 4-page autograph. Several blank leaves in the notebook, some removed. Stains on the cover. Some foxing inside. The loose leaves are somewhat chipped and creased at the extremities. Otherwise in fine condition.

Holograph copy of the first four pages of an early and different version of Cocteau’s Ode à Picasso.

Ode à Picasso is one of Cocteau’s first poems dedicated to Picasso and one of his earliest books to be published, in 1919.

The text here is very different from the published version (Paris: À la Belle Édition, 1919 in 339 copies). In his paper on Cocteau’s poems to Picasso, Pierre Caizergues reproduce the text of the first, and then unpublished version of the poem, the present text is a fragment of that variant. (Caizergues 1993, p. 27–30) Caizergues cites the text from a manuscript held at the Henry Ransom Center in Texas and dates it to September 9, 1916. (Caizergues 1993, p. 16) In the book A Day with Picasso, Billy Klüver refers to another manuscript copy that was given by Cocteau to Picasso (through Eugenia Errázuriz), whose format resembles the present copy, written into a sketchbook sold on rue de Seine. (Klüver 1997, p. 85 note 17)

The friendship between Cocteau and Picasso is well documented, Cocteau admired the painter and tried to contact him as early as July 1915. Eventually, the two met first in December of the same year through the mediation of the musician Edgar Varèse. (Caizergues 1993, p. 13) Cocteau dedicated numerous poems and texts to Picasso and his works, many of them are published in Caizergues’ aforementioned study, among them this variant of the Ode for the first time.

Literature: Caizergues, P. (1993). Poemes a Picasso. In: Revue Des Deux Mondes, Juillet-Aout 1993. pp. 11–33. Retrieved from; Klüver, B. (1997). A day with Picasso: Twenty-four photographs by Jean Cocteau. Cambridge, Mass: Mit Press.

Price: €15,000.00

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