Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Reading at a Table

Artist:
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )
Date:
1934
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
63 7/8 x 51 3/8 in. (162.2 x 130.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1995
Accession Number:
1996.403.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 901
In this painting of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter reading a book, Picasso returns to a favored subject: a woman seated alone. The darkened room and glow from the lamp give her an ethereal presence, while her alabaster skin, blonde hair, and floral crown enhance her youth. Though she featured prominently in Picasso’s work at the time, their relationship was the least public of Picasso’s many amatory alliances, a fact that imbues this painting with a sense of tender intimacy. The canvas, one of several similar compositions Picasso painted of his mistress, is a poem by a man in love.
Inscription: Signed and dated (upper right): Picasso/ XXXIV
the artist, Paris (1934–ca. 1936; by March 1936 to Rosenberg); [Paul Rosenberg, Paris, and Rosenberg & Helft, London, by 1936–at least 1937; stock no. 3414]; Victor William (Peter) Watson, London (probably by 1937, and certainly by 1939–1945; stored at the Museum of Modern Art, New York during World War II; sold in New York on November 28, 1945, through L. Denham (Denny) Fouts, London and elsewhere, for $12,500 to Marx); Samuel and Florene Marx, Chicago (1945–his d. 1964); Florene May Marx, later Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn, New York (1964–d. 1995; on extended loan to the Museum of Modern Art from 1971; on extended loan to MMA from 1985; her bequest to MMA)

Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris. "Exposition d'oeuvres récentes de Picasso," March 3–31, 1936, no. 17.

London. Rosenberg & Helft. "Recent Works of Picasso," April 1–30, 1937, no. 23.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," November 15, 1939–January 7, 1940, no. 264.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," February 1–March 5, 1940, no. 264.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," March 16–April 14, 1940, no. 264.

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," April 26–May 25, 1940, no. 264.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," June 25–July 22, 1940, no. 264.

Utica, N. Y. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," November 1–24, 1941, no. 264.

Durham, N. C. Duke University. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," November 29–December 20, 1941, no. 264.

Kansas City, Mo. William Rockhill-Nelson Art Gallery. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," January 24–February 14, 1942, no. 264.

Milwaukee Art Institute. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," February 20–March 13, 1942, no. 264.

Michigan. Grand Rapids Art Gallery. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," March 23–April 13, 1942, no. 264.

Hanover, N. H. Dartmouth College. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," April 27–May 18, 1942, no. 264.

Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Vassar College Art Gallery. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," May 20–June 15, 1942, no. 264.

Art Gallery of Toronto. "Picasso," April 1949, no. 22.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: A 25th Anniversary Exhibition," May 31–September 5, 1955, no. 121.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: 75th Anniversary Exhibition," May 22–September 8, 1957, frontispiece.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Picasso: 75th Anniversary Exhibition," October 29–December 8, 1957, frontispiece.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Picasso: A Loan Exhibition of His Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints and Illustrated Books," January 8–February 23, 1958, no. 137.

London. Tate Gallery. "Pablo Picasso," July 6–September 18, 1960, no. 136.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," November 2, 1965–January 2, 1966, unnumbered cat. (p. 28).

Art Institute of Chicago. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," February 11–March 27, 1966, unnumbered cat.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," April 26–June 13, 1966, unnumbered cat.

Mexico City. Museo de Arte Moderno. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," July 2–August 7, 1966, unnumbered cat.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," September 2–October 2, 1966, unnumbered cat.

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "Picasso: Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibitions," February 8–March 26, 1967, no. 57.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Picasso in Chicago: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints from Chicago Collections," February 3–March 31, 1968, no. 37.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Picasso in the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art," February 3-April 2, 1972, unnumbered cat. (p. 144).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective," May 22–September 16, 1980, not in catalogue (brochure no. 14).

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar," February 10–May 10, 1994, no. 34.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso and the Weeping Women: The Years of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar," June–September 14, 1994, no. 34.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Florene M. Schoenborn Bequest: 12 Artists of the School of Paris," February 11–May 4, 1997, extended to August 31, 1997, brochure no. 19.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso the Engraver: Selections from the Musée Picasso, Paris," September 18–December 21, 1997, not in catalogue.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Pikaso ten: Kaikan 10-shunen kinen/Pablo Picasso: 10th Anniversary," July 4–September 6, 1998, no. 78.

Nagoya City Art Museum. "Pikaso ten: Kaikan 10-shunen kinen/Pablo Picasso: 10th Anniversary," September 12–November 29, 1998, no. 78.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 105).

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 60.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 60.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 79.

New York. Gagosian Gallery. "L'Amour Fou: Picasso and Marie-Thérèse," April 21–July 15, 2011, unnumbered cat. (p. 203; as "Femme lisant à la table").

London. Tate Britain. "Picasso and Modern British Art," February 15–July 15, 2012, no. 62.

Christian Zervos et al. "Picasso." Cahiers d'art 10, nos. 7–10 (1935), p. 237, ill.

Christian Zervos. Picasso 1930–1935. Paris, 1936, p. 101, ill.

Robert Melville. Picasso: Master of the Phantom. London, 1939, p. 23.

Egidio Bonfante Juti Ravenna. Arte cubista, con le "Méditations esthétiques sur la peinture" di Guillaume Apollinaire. Venice, 1945, p. 60, pl. 33.

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art. New York, 1946, p. 189, ill.

Herbert Read. Art Now: An Introduction to the Theory of Modern Painting and Sculpture. 3rd rev. and enlarged ed. (1st ed., 1933). London, 1948, p. 25, pl. 117.

Joan Merli. Picasso, el artista y la obra de nuestro tiempo. 2nd ed. (1st ed.,1942). Buenos Aires, 1948, p. 603, fig. 415.

Jean Cassou. Picasso. Paris, 1949, fig. 41.

Introduction by Alfred H. Barr Jr. "Paintings from Private Collections." Museum of Modern Art Bulletin 22 (Summer 1955), pp. 22, 34, no. 121, ill.

José Camón Aznar. Picasso y el Cubismo. Madrid, 1956, pp. 509, 728, fig. 380.

Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 8, Oeuvres de 1932 à 1937. Paris, 1957, p. 114, no. 246, ill.

Douglas Cooper. Great Private Collections. New York, 1963, pp, 284, 291, ill.

André Fermigier. Picasso. Paris, 1969, p. 219, fig. 139.

Pablo Picasso. Tokyo, 1981, vol. 5, p. 86, fig. 39.

Lydia Gasman. "Mystery, Magic and Love in Picasso, 1925–1938: Picasso and the Surrealist Poets." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1981, pp. 1182–1183, 1831, pl. 355a.

Christian Geelhaar. Picasso: Wegbereiter und Förderer seines Aufstiegs, 1899–1939. Zürich, 1993, p. 156, fig. 162.

Carol Vogel. "32 Works of Art by Masters Left to Met and the Modern." New York Times (November 25, 1996), p. C12.

William S. Lieberman in "Recent Acquisitions. A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), pp. 76–77, 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. 5, Surrealism, 1930–1936. San Francisco, 1997, p. 241, no. 34–113, ill.

Douglas Crase. Both: A Portrait in Two Parts. New York, 2004, pp. 126, 150, 159, 163.

Madeleine Korn. "Collecting Paintings by Matisse and by Picasso in Britain before the Second World War." Journal of the History of Collections 16, no. 1 (2004), p. 126.

Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, pp. 353, 356, 373.

Chris Stephens in Picasso and Modern British Art. Ed. James Beechey and Chris Stephens. Exh. cat., Tate Britain. London, 2012, pp. 123, 230, no. 62, ill. (color).

John Richardson in Picasso and Modern British Art. Ed. James Beechey and Chris Stephens. Exh. cat., Tate Britain. London, 2012, p. 42.



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