Faun with Stars was created in 1955, at the height of Picasso’s romance with Jacqueline Roque (1927–1986), whom he married in 1961. Picasso’s choice of subject—specifically, a grizzled, starry-eyed faun and a nubile nymph playing a pipe—might symbolize his relationship with Roque. Mythological figures like these, which had populated his work in the 1920s and 1930s, often functioned as self-portraits, especially in narratives about love and lust. The work’s decorative and playful graphic quality is characteristic of Picasso’s late style and relates specifically to the painted ceramics he began making in 1947.
Inscription: Signed, lower left: Picasso; dated on verso in black paint, upper right: 9 · 7 · / 55·
[Knoedler & Co., New York, until 1957; sold on May 23, 1957 to Hazen]; Joseph H. Hazen, New York (1957–70; his gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 1–September 1, 1958, checklist no. 99.
New York. Cordier-Warren Gallery. "Picasso: An American Tribute," April 25–May 12, 1962, no. 19.
Jerusalem. Israel Museum. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," May–September 1966, no. 96.
Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," October 19–December 1, 1966, no. 96.
UCLA Art Galleries. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," January–February 1967, no. 96.
Berkeley Art Museum, University of California. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," February–March 1967, no. 96.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," April–May 1967, no. 96.
Honolulu Academy of Arts. "Paintings from the Collection of Joseph H. Hazen," June–August 1967, no. 96.
West Palm Beach, Fla. Norton Gallery of Art. "Pablo Picasso: A Vision," March 2–April 3, 1994, no. 24.
Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Picasso: 200 capolavori dal 1898 al 1972," September 15, 2001–January 27, 2002, no. 159.
Naples, Fla. Naples Museum of Art. "Pablo Picasso: Preoccupations and Passions," January 29–May 18, 2008, unnum. brochure (fig. 11).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 90.
Paris. Musée du Quai Branly. "Les Maîtres du désordre," April 11–July 29, 2012, unnumbered cat. (p. 376).
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 16, Œuvres de 1953 à 1955. Paris, 1965, p. 143, no. 396, ill.
Mariel Jardines. The Picasso Project: Picasso's Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885–1973. Ed. Herschel Chipp and Alan Wofsy. Vol. 10, The Fifties I, 1950–1955. San Francisco, 2000, p. 295, no. 55-086, ill.
David Madacsi. "Fragile Light: Confluence of Art and Science." Proceedings, Starlight: International Conference in Defense of the Quality of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars. Santa Cruz de la Palma, 2007, p. 92.
Kevin Costello. "Exhibit Offers Glimpse of a Picasso's Passions and His Vast Creativity." Herald Tribune (March 23, 2008), p. E1.
Janice T. Paine. "There Might Not Be Anything New to Say about Picasso, but There's Still Plenty Worth Repeating." NaplesNews.com. February 20, 2008.