Lot 27
  • 27

Walt Kuhn 1877 - 1949

40,000 - 60,000 USD
50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Walt Kuhn
  • Study for Roberto
  • signed Walt Kuhn, dated 1946 and titled Study for "Roberto" (lower right)
  • ink and watercolor on paper


M. Knoedler & Co., New York
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sears, New York
Private Collection (sold: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, April 25, 1980, lot 205, illustrated)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale


Oxford, Ohio, Miami University Art Museum, Twentieth Century American Masters, January-February 1982
New York, Andrew Crispo Gallery, American Works on Paper, February-March 1982, no. 48
Davenport, Iowa, Davenport Art Gallery; Little Rock, Arkansas, Arkansas Art Center; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma Art Center; Wichita Falls, Texas, Wichita Falls Museum; Corpus Christi, Texas, Art Museum of South Texas; Kansas City, Missouri, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Huntsville, Alabama, Huntsville Museum of Art; Stillwater, Oklahoma, Gardiner Art Gallery; Pueblo, Colorado, Sangre de Christo Art Center; Lincoln, Nebraska, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery; Peoria, Illinois, Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences; Salina, Kansas, Salina Art Center; Springfield, Missouri, Springfield Art Museum; Lexington, Kentucky, University of Kentucky Art Museum, American Works on Paper: 100 Years of American Art History, December 1983-December 1985, no. 48, p. 109, illustrated in color p. 56
New York, Canova and Rittenhouse Fine Art Gallery, A Selection of 20th Century Art: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, November 1991-January 1992, no. 20

Catalogue Note

Walt Kuhn created the present work as a study for arguably his most acclaimed painting, Roberto (Fig. 1), which was included in his 1946 exhibition at Durand-Ruel Galleries. The show yielded immense commercial success and further established Kuhn’s prominence in the art world. Roberto depicts a chalk-faced circus performer clad in pink, one of the artist’s most replicated subjects, and epitomizes his modernist intent. In both the final portrait and present study, Kuhn brings Roberto to life by capturing a palpable level of intense human emotion through the performer’s penetrating stare.