Man with a Hat and a Violin

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )

Cut and pasted newspaper, and charcoal, on two joined sheets of paper
49 x 18 7/8 in. (124.5 x 47.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2014 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    In September 1912, first Georges Braque and then Picasso began pasting colored or printed pieces of paper onto their compositions. These works, called papiers collés, initiated a new phase of Cubism, Synthetic Cubism, characterized by large, superimposed planes and clear geometric structure. Here, Picasso arranged cuttings from three issues of the newspaper ¦Le Journal¦ (all dating from November and December 1912) on a scaffolding suggestive of a man wearing a hat. The clippings refer to various topics, among them the Balkan Wars and unrest in French mines, as well as serial novels and advertisements. Among these seemingly random cuttings, the one that makes up the body of the violin is exceptional: it reports the tragic story of a young man driven to suicide by unrequited love.
    Picasso's papiers collés were made at the same time as his first three-dimensional constructions in cardboard. A photograph of Picasso's studio from the winter of 1912-13 shows a similar, nearly life-size papier collé of a man holding a Cubist cardboard guitar.

  • Exhibition History

    Martigny, Suisse: Foundation Pierre Gianadda, 18 juin-1 novembre 1994. ¦de Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman¦, Rédaction du catalogue: William S. Lieberman, Auteur du catalogue: Sabine Rewald, Textes de: Dawn Ades, John Ashbery, Jacques Dupin, John Golding, Lawrence Gowing, William S. Lieberman, Philippe de Montebello, Pierre Schneider et Gary Tinterow. p. 141 (illus).

    New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 12, 1989 - April 1, 1990. London, England: Royal Academy, April 19 - July 15,1990. ¦Gelman Collection¦ P. 116 (illus. in color), Pp.117-118 (discussed).

    New York: Museum of Modern Art, February 13 - June 6, 2011. Picasso: Guitar and Variations 1912-1914.

    New York. The Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914," February 13–June 6, 2011, no. 42.