Estate of the artist
Marina Picasso Collection
Private Collection (acquired from the above)
Venice, 1981, both illustrated in the catalogue, verso illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Munich & travelling, 1981-82, both illustrated in the catalogue, verso illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Tokyo & Kyoto, 1983, both illustrated in the catalogue
Melbourne & Sydney, 1984, illustrated in the catalogue
London, 1988, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, 1989, illustrated in the catalogue
Barcelona & Bern, 1992, both illustrated in the catalogue
Berlin, 1999, illustrated in the catalogue
New York & Geneva, 2001-02
Glimcher & Glimcher (ed.), no. 17 (Arlequin), illustrated in colour p. 31 & illustrated p. 311; no 20 (Garçon profil gauche), illustrated in colour p. 34
In the spring of 1904, Picasso departed Barcelona and moved to Paris permanently. He moved into a dilapidated building at 13, rue Ravignan which later became known as the Bateau Lavoir. During his first months Picasso began visiting the Cirque Medrano regularly; it is these circus performers who began to appear in his work.
In 1980, the art historian and curator E.A. Carmean, Jr. with the cooperation of the National Gallery in Washington, DC, conducted a thorough study of x-rays taken of the monumental painting Les Bateleurs (Famille de Saltimbanques), painted in 1905. Examination of the radiographs combined with additional research revealed Picasso had executed the painting in 3 phases. As a result of this investigation, Carmean was able to determine the following about the Arlequin of the present lot: "We can assume this is an early image for in the Baltimore gouache (see fig. 1, lot 128), in the drypoint and in the traces shown in the radiograph of the large canvas, the harlequin position is consistent in formulation, and different from this study. In these other versions, his right leg falls straight from the hip, rather than having the pronounced bend shown in the sketchbook images. Even more decisive, in all three other images, he stands with both hands on hips and elbows outward…Nevertheless, despite these differences the figure clearly belongs to the "Circus Family" composition, especially as his downward stare implies the presence of the girl on the ball who he watches in the three other versions of this image" (E.A. Carmean, Jr., 'The Saltimbanques Sketchbook No. 35, 1905' in A. Glimcher & M. Glimcher (ed.), Je suis le cahier, The Sketchbooks of Pablo Picasso, New York, 1986, p. 14).
Picasso's depiction of the harlequin was a persistent representation of the artist himself throughout his early work (fig. 1). Picasso associated himself with this elusive figure that was a recurrent motif in French culture.
Fig. 1 Pablo Picasso, Au Lapin Agile, 1905, oil on canvas, sold: Sotheby's, New York, 15th November, 1989, lot 31, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Walter H. Annenberg Bequest
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale