Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper


Pablo Picasso
pen and brown ink on paper
image size: 14.2 by 8.7cm., 5 5/8 by 3 3/8 in.
sheet size: 14.2 by 17.3cm., 5 5/8 by 6 7/8 in.

Executed in 1905.

There is a short inscription in the artist's handwriting on the reverse of the sheet.

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Estate of the artist
Marina Picasso Collection
Private Collection (acquired from the above)


Venice, 1981, illustrated in the catalogue
Munich & travelling, 1981-82, illustrated in the catalogue
Tokyo & Kyoto, 1983, illustrated in the catalogue
Melbourne & Sydney, 1984, illustrated in the catalogue
London, 1988, illustrated in the catalogue
Barcelona & Bern, 1992, illustrated in the catalogue
Berlin, 1999, illustrated in the catalogue
New York & Geneva, 2001-02


Glimcher & Glimcher (ed.), no. 29, illustrated p. 40

Catalogue Note

Fig. 1 Pablo Picasso, Les Bateleurs (Famille de Saltimbanques), 1905, oil on canvas, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Chester Dale Collection

COMP ILLUS 231D06005

Fig. 2 Pablo Picasso, Garçon à la pipe, 1905, oil on canvas, sold: Sotheby’s, New York, 5th May 2004, lot 7, record price for a work of art at auction

COMP ILLUS 229D06005

Fig. 3 Fra Angelico, Beheading of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, San Marco Altarpiece, circa 1440, Musée du Louvre, Paris

COMP ILLUS 228D06005

PART OF LOT: notes about Fra Angelico 212D06006

Pablo Picasso, Works from an Important Sketchbook of 1905

“Perhaps the most exciting is sketchbook no. 35, where the young Picasso recorded the beginning of his first grand painting” (E.A. Carmean, in Je suis le cahier. The Sketchbooks of Picasso, London, 1986, p. 13 ).

This rare and important sketchbook belongs to the height of Picasso’s most poetic period of his early career. His work from the Rose period can be admired for the melancholy charm and elegance of form displayed in the acrobats, harlequins and circus performer’s that fascinated the artist at the Cirque Medrano in Paris. The sketches in this book help to clarify the evolution of the Famille de Saltimbanques, Picasso’s first major undertaking of a large scale painting and one of his most important works of the Rose period (fig. 1). The studies of figures, often repeatedly worked from different angles, give us an insight into Picasso’s thought process during this important evolution. X-rays of the final painting have revealed that Picasso re-worked the canvas three times, altering the imagery, composition and poses of the figures. Several of the works from this sketchbook have direct links to these various stages of the painting.

The small size of the sketchbook makes one imagine Picasso carrying it around in his pocket, jotting down his ideas as they came to him on the street and in cafés, or while he was watching the acrobats perform. His additional everyday notes were added in between his drawings and include lists of paint colours, financial calculations, friends’ addresses and even laundry lists.

As Arnold Glimcher notes, Picasso’s sketchbooks are “vital and interdependent parts of the development of Picasso’s work. Conversely, we might say the sketchbooks are Picasso. They are a legacy by which we may decipher the process of Picasso’s creativity and understand the cohesive totality of his lifework” (Je suis le cahier. The Sketchbooks of Picasso, op. cit., p. 2).

This wonderful record of Picasso’s Rose period work remained in his collection all his life before being inherited by his grand-daughter, Marina Picasso (MP inv. 07315-07344).  The artist himself highlighted the importance of his sketchbooks when he stated “..I picked up my sketchbooks daily, saying to myself ‘What will I learn of myself that I didn’t know?’ And when it isn’t me anymore who is talking but the drawings I made, and when they escape and mock me, then I know I have achieved my goal” (quoted in Je suis le cahier, op. cit., p. 2) .

Works from this sketchbook are now to be sold either in single pages, or in bi-folio sheets, joined by the binding holes that are now visible down the centre of each sheet. Unless otherwise stated, these bi-folios have one study on the recto and one on the verso which are on opposite sides of the sheet and therefore do not conflict with each other.


Abbreviations for literature and exhibition references for the Picasso Sketchbook (lots 123-144). Specific page references are indicated in the cataloguing information for each lot.


Venice, 1981 Venice, Centro di Cultura di Palazzo Grassi, Picasso, Opere dal 1895 al 1971 dalla Collezione Marina Picasso, 1981, no. 49 (titled Carnet 24)
Munich & travelling, 1981-82 Munich, Haus der Kunst; Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle; Frankfurt, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut & Zurich, Kunsthaus; Pablo Picasso, Sammlung Marina Picasso, 1981-82, no. 43 (titled Carnet 24)
Tokyo & Kyoto, 1983 Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art & Kyoto, Municipal Museum, Picasso, Masterpieces from Marina Picasso Collection and from Museums in USA and USSR, 1983, no. 24 (titled Sketchbook 24)
Melbourne & Sydney, 1984 Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria & Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Picasso, 1984, no. 169
London, 1986 London, The Royal Academy of Arts, Je Suis le Cahier, The Sketchbooks of Picasso, 1986 (titled Sketchbook no. 35)
London, 1988 London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre), Picasso Works on Paper. Barcelona, Blue and Pink Periods from the Collection or Marina Picasso, 1988, no. 20 (titled Carnet no. 35)
New York, 1989 New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, Picasso 'Petits formats'. Works from the Marina Picasso Collection, 1989, no. 52 (titled Carnet 24)
Barcelona & Bern, 1992 Barcelona, Museu Picasso & Bern, Kunstmuseum, Picasso 1905-1906, 1992, no. 50 (titled Album 24)
Berlin, 1999 Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin- Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Linie, Licht und Schatten. Meisterzeichnungen und Skulpturen der Sammlung Jan und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski, 1999, cat. 124
New York & Geneva, 2001-02 Geneva, Galerie Jan Krugier, Ditesheim & Cie. & New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, Pablo Picasso Metamorphoses. Œuvres de 1898 à 1973 de la Collection Marina Picasso, 2001-02, cat. 4 & 5


Glimcher & Glimcher (ed.) Arnold Glimcher & Marc Glimcher (ed.), Je suis le cahier, The Sketchbooks of Pablo Picasso, New York, 1986
John Richardson John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, 1881-1906, New York, 1991, vol. I
Hélène Seckel Hélène Seckel, Max Jacob et Picasso (exhibition catalogue), Paris, 1994
Jean Clair Jean Clair (ed.), Picasso: The Italian Journey 1917-1924 (exhibition catalogue), London, 1998
The Timeless Eye, Master Drawings from the Jan and Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski Collection (Exhibition Catalogue), Venice, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation & Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1999-2000, rectos of lots 123,125, 127, 128 (and verso), 131, 132, 136 & 143 illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Goya bis Picasso, Meisterwerke der Sammlung Jan Krugier und Marie-Anne Krugier-Poniatowski (Exhibition Catalogue), Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, 2005, rectos of lots 123,125, 127, 128 (and verso), 131, 132, 136 & 143 illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper