Francis Picabia


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Status, estimation and price of the artist Francis Picabia

Price of a painting: 7,000 – 2,500,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 1 700 – 700,000 €.

Price of a print: 40 – 1 600 €.

If you would like to have a work by Francis Picabia appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Francis Picabia, a 20th century French painter of Spanish origin, 1879 – 1953

Sensitive to the profound artistic upheavals of the twentieth century, Francis Picabia distinguished himself as an outstanding artist of the last century. Indeed, his curiosity led him to take an interest in many of the artistic movements of his time, making him a recognised avant-garde painter. His numerous works, which are internationally renowned, are the object of many curiosities and can be appraised.

Francis Picabia’s unique youth

Born in Paris on 22 January 1879, Francis Picabia was the only child of the marriage of François Martinez Picabia, who belonged to the Spanish aristocracy, and Marie Cécile Davanne, from the French bourgeoisie. His childhood was marked by dramatic family tragedies: at the age of seven, his mother died of tuberculosis and the following year his maternal grandmother died in turn. From then on, surrounded by his father, his uncle and his grandfather with important professional concerns, Francis Picabia took refuge in drawing and painting.

As he grew up, his interest became more acute and his artistic talent was established. In 1895, he began his apprenticeship at the School of Decorative Arts, where he became the applied student of Cormon, Humbert and Wallet. In 1899, Picabia managed to enter the restricted sector of art exhibitions by exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Français, one of his creations entitled, Rue aux Martigues (1899). This first exhibition was a true success as it allowed him to build up a growing reputation, constantly fuelled by the many exhibitions to come. In this respect, one can cite his exhibition at the Salon d’automne as an example, as well as the avant-garde gallery, directed by Berthe Weil.

His fame stretched beyond French borders and Francis Picabia spent nearly six months across the Atlantic, in New York where became quite famous.

He died in Paris on 30 November 1953.

Diverse artistic influences mark out an extraordinary journey

The year 1902 was an important turning point in Picabia’s career, as it marked the beginning of his Impressionist period, under the influence of Pissarro and Sisley. From 1909 to 1914, Picabia was confronted with different artistic movements such as Fauvism, Cubism and others, in search of his own artistic language. He continued to exhibit his work in numerous salons where he was noticed for his own perception of art. In 1920, Francis Picabia became interested in the Dadaist movement, during which period he published various avant-garde writings and presented them in the Salons and exhibitions in which he participated.

Among his writings are the Carburettor Child (1919), the Love Parade (1917). He also produced artistic works, characteristic of Dadaism and provocative of the resounding scandals such as the Double World (1919), the Blessed Virgin (1920) or Portrait of Cézanne (1920).

In the later part of his life, Francis Picabia wanted to be more “naturalist” and painted works, seeped in a certain realism. He also painted many nudes, such as Women with Bulldogs (1941-1942).

Works recognised throughout the world

As a prolific artist of the 20th century, Francis Picabia left a substantial artistic legacy behind as well as numerous works all across the world.

L’Eglise à Moret – 1904 (Impressionist period) based on the work of Sisley

The Cacodylate Eye – 1921 (Dadaist period)

Hera – 1929 (oil, gouache, charcoal and pencil on cardboard)

Volupté – 1932 (Surrealist period)

Paris Sex-Appeal – 1941/1943 (portraits, nudes)

Recognising Francis Picabia’s signature

Like many artists, Picabia did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature picabia

Appraising and selling a piece by Francis Picabia

If you own a piece by Francis Picabia or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.