Art/ Collection/ Art Object

At the Lapin Agile

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)
Oil on canvas
39 x 39 1/2 in. (99.1 x 100.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1992, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 822
In this celebrated work, now an icon of life in bohemian Paris at the turn of the last century, Picasso depicts himself dressed as a Harlequin. He is accompanied by his recent lover Germaine Pichot. Previously, she had been the fatal obsession of Picasso's great friend Casagemas, who committed suicide in 1901. The painting was commissioned by Frédé Gérard—seen playing guitar in the background—for his Montmartre cabaret, Le Lapin Agile, where it was the only work by Picasso on permanent view in Paris from 1905 until 1912, when it was sold to a German collector.
Frédéric (Frédé) Gérard, Paris (1905–12; acquired from the artist in 1905; sold in 1912); Alfred Flechtheim, Düsseldorf (1912–14; sold in August 1914 for 7,000 marks, through Nils Dardel, to de Maré); Rolf de Maré, Hildesborg, Sweden, and Paris (1914–52; sold on June 10, 1952, for $40,000, to de Hauke and Brame); [César Mange de Hauke, New York and Hector Brame, Paris, 1952; sold on August 5, 1952 to Knoedler]; [Knoedler and Co., New York, 1952; sold in September 1952, reportedly for $60,000, to Payson]; Joan Whitney (Mrs Charles Shipman) Payson, Manhasset, New York (1952–d. 1975); her daughter, Mrs. Vincent (Lorinda) de Roulet, Manhasset (1975–89; sale, Sotheby's, New York, November 15, 1989, no. 31, sold to Annenberg); Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, California (1989–92; owned jointly with MMA, 1992–his d. 2002; his bequest to MMA)

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