Pablo Picasso by Christian Zervos

Cahiers d'Art

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A Modern Masterpiece is Reborn

This modern publishing masterpiece was the life’s work of Christian Zervos. In direct collaboration with Pablo Picasso, he catalogued more than 16,000 paintings, drawings, and sketches over the artist’s last four decades. The last volume of the catalogue raisonné was published in 1978, after the deaths of both the author and subject.

Covering Picasso’s entire work from 1895 to 1972, the monumental undertaking was published by legendary Paris publisher Cahiers d’Art between 1932 and 1978 – with the first full set of thirty-three volumes published in French in 1991. The catalogue raisonné was first printed in English in 2014.

“The catalogue is so enormously useful to anybody involved in the art world whether you are a dealer, or a historian, or a collector,” said Picasso biographer Sir John Richardson. “Zervos served Picasso very well, and Picasso was very grateful.”

“It’s the go-to catalogue for Picasso,” said Larry Gagosian, whose New York gallery has mounted four Picasso shows. “The sheer volume of works and the accuracy are remarkable.

“Some days Picasso painted four or five paintings – in one day! – and that’s all chronicled. You get a sense of how he worked on a given day or week or period, how one style morphed into another.”

True to the original, all the images are printed in black and white. “Picasso and Zervos could have done colour,” said Carmen Giménez, a Picasso scholar and curator of 20th century art at the Guggenheim Museum. “Picasso wanted to do it in black and white. He believed colour is always false.”


While the price tag may startle, renowned art collector and Cahiers d’Art publisher, Staffan Ahrenberg, notes that vintage sets become collector’s items that routinely sell for around US$60,000 at auction – and US$200,000 in pristine condition.

Born in Spain, Picasso was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years and subsequently explored and pioneered a multiplicity of radical styles in modern art, from African-influenced primitivism and cubism to Neo-classicism, surrealism and eroticism.

He was also a prolific sculptor and copper-plate engraver, and in later years reinterpreted the art of the great masters.

Among his most famous works were the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), and the anti-war painting Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Several of his paintings rank among the most expensive in the world, including Garçon à la pipe which sold for US$104 million at auction in 2004.

Exceptionally prolific throughout his long life, Picasso achieved universal renown and immense fortune for his revolutionary accomplishments in 20th century art.

The revered art critic Robert Hughes said: “To say that Pablo Picasso dominated Western art in the 20th century is, by now, the merest commonplace. No painter or sculptor, not even Michelangelo, was as famous in his own lifetime.”

  • 33 volumes
  • Printed in Italy
  • Presented in 9 linen slipcases
  • Flexible binding wrapped with glassine
  • Each volume is 32.8 cm tall
  • Entire set measures 114 cm wide
  • Includes over 16,000 works

Please get in touch at +852-25539289 or if you would like to place an order.