Lot 413
  • 413

PABLO PICASSO | Homme accoudé à une table

400,000 - 600,000 USD
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  • Pablo Picasso
  • Homme accoudé à une table
  • Signed Picasso (lower right)
  • Watercolor and ink wash on paper
  • 12 1/4 by 9 1/4 in.
  • 31.1 by 23.5 cm
  • Executed in 1915.


Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris (acquired by 1932)
Dr. & Mrs. Allan Roos, New York (acquired by 1942 and sold: Parke-Bernet, New York, May 1, 1946, lot 37)
Valentine Gallery (Valentine Dudensing), New York (acquired at the above sale)
Mr. & Mrs. Richard K. Weil, St. Louis
Private Collection, United States
Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich
Acquired from the above in 1988


Fort Worth, Fort Worth Art Center & Dallas, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Picasso, Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibitions, 1967, no. 172
New York, The Museum of Modern Art & Basel, Kunstmuseum, Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism, 1989-90, n.n., illustrated in color in the catalogue (dated 1914)
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Aus privaten Sammlungen, 1986, no. 46, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time, 2016-17, n.n., illustrated in color in the catalogue (dated 1914)


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1912 à 1917, vol. II**, Paris, 1942, no. 566, illustrated pl. 262
Françoise Cachin, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Picasso, 1907-1916, Paris, 1977, no. 867, illustrated p. 127
Pierre Daix & Joan Rosselet, Le Cubisme de Picasso, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint 1907-1916, Neuchatel, 1979, no. 840, illustrated p. 347


The work is in very good condition. Executed on cream laid paper. The sheet is T-hinged to a mount at the upper left and upper right corners of its verso. These hinges are causing a very slight undulation to the sheet in those areas. The right and lower edges are deckled. The medium is very well-preserved. There is a very light matte stain, likely from a prior mounting. There are a few scattered spots of very faint foxing, mostly in the lower half of the sheet.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Homme accoudé à une table is a testament to Picasso’s extraordinary draftsmanship. Executed in 1915, the work displays the motifs of Picasso’s Cubist output to superb effect. The rippling lines and textures are wonderfully varied, and it is this variation that renders the work so visually stimulating. 

Albeit a year of significant productivity, 1915 was also a particularly trying one for Picasso. His lover Eva Gouel, whom he had met through Louis Marcoussis four years earlier, was dying of tuberculosis in a suburban Parisian hospital after many happy months with Picasso in Avignon. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Picasso was already seeing Gaby Depeyre Lespinasse who would shortly become his new lover. Pierre Daix noted: “Picasso’s painting had become baroque. He was experiencing an evident pleasure in painting, in exploring every available decorative possibility, urged on by perhaps those whose Cubism he had inspired, like Juan Gris or Severini—but Eva was once again the queen of this flowering, which, with a sequence of still lifes dedicated to Ma Jolie and an explosion of color, combines the most intense lyricism and humor. This will later be called Rococo Cubism, a particularly ill-chosen term. It is, in fact, amorous Cubism” (Pierre Daix, Picasso, Life and Art, New York, 1987, p. 137).

While these amorous endeavors played out visually in Picasso’s work, World War I played out violently across Europe. The Battle of the Somme claimed over one million lives between May and November 1915. Many of Picasso’s friends and peers had left for the front including Apollinaire, Breton, Léger and Braque. Having seen Braque off to war at the Avignon station in August 1914, Picasso effectively closed the door on an incredibly fruitful artistic relationship. As William Rubin describes: “…their friendship flourished in a near Eden possible only in that mood of prelapsarian optimism which characterized the vanguard in the years preceding 1914. With the advent of World War I, that ambiance, which has been compared to that of the Renaissance, was to vanish” (Picasso and Braque, Pioneering Cubism (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1989, p. 53). It is in such a period of emotive turmoil, introspection and creative frenzy that Picasso was also at his most inventive.