Lot 49
  • 49

Pablo Picasso

500,000 - 700,000 USD
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  • Pablo Picasso
  • Chevaux au bain 
  • Signed Picasso (lower left)
  • Watercolor on paper
  • 12 3/8 by 19 3/8 in.
  • 31.4 by 49.2 cm


Heinz-Berggruen, Paris

Mrs. C. Kavanagh, Buenos Aires

Juan Pablo Kavanaugh (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 19, 1983, lot 220)

Acquired at the above sale


Pierre Daix & Georges Boudaille, Picasso 1900-1906, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Neuchâtel, 1966, no. XIV, illustrated p. 288

Pierre Daix & Georges Boudaille, Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods, A Catalogue Raisonné1900-1906, Greenwich, 1967, no. XIV. 15, illustrated pl. XIV

Alberto Moravia & Paolo Lecaldano, L'Opera Completa di Pablo Picasso blue e rosa, 1968, no. 238, illustrated p. 106

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picassosupplément aux années 1903-1906, Paris, 1970, vol. XXII, no. 267, illustrated pl. 99 (dated 1905)

Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso, The Early Years, 1881-1907, Barcelona, 1985, no. 1195, illustrated p. 434

Brigitte Léal, Christine Piot & Marie-Laure Bernadac, The Ultimate Picasso, New York, 2000, no. 192, illustrated p. 94

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Rose Period, 1905-1906, San Francisco, 2012, no. 1906-028, illustrated p. 172

Catalogue Note

Executed in Paris in the late spring-to-early summer of 1906, Chevaux au bain is one of a few surviving studies for a large, mural-sized project of the same title. Classically-derived in style, the present composition of nude boys and horses in a landscape shows a pronounced shift in the mood of Picasso's work from the poignant introspection of his work executed earlier in Barcelona. In two of the earliest related studies, Girl on Horseback and Boy (Zervos I, 269) and Boy and Horse (Zervos I, 270), the figure of the standing youth is dressed in circus costume; however, in all of the remaining studies the nudity of the boys establishes a less specific, more heroic environment. In the first of the drawing for the entire compositions (Zervos XXII, 266) and in the definitive gouache study (Zervos I, 265), Picasso has forshortened the horse and rider, whereas in the present composition the group of figures and horses is situated in the middle distance.

It has been suggested that Gauguin's Riders on the Beach, first exhibited by Ambroise Vollard in 1903, may have influenced Picasso during the development of the present composition. The monumental Chevaux au bain was never realized, but the ambitious scale of the work is suggested by Picasso's related masterpiece of that period Boy Leading a Horse, 1905-06, from the William S. Paley Collection now in The Museum of Modern Art, New York.