Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Actor

Artist:
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )
Date:
1904–5
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
77 1/4 x 45 3/8 in. (196.2 x 115.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Thelma Chrysler Foy, 1952
Accession Number:
52.175
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 830
Simple yet haunting, The Actor is the work with which Picasso ended his obsession with the wretched in favor of the theatrical world of acrobats and saltimbanques. Although the attenuated figure and extraordinary play of hands recall the El Greco-inspired mannerism of the Blue Period, The Actor can be seen as the prologue to the series of works that culminates in the enormous canvas Family of Saltimbanques (1905, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).
The new subject matter, palette, and sensibility of this picture coincide with the arrival of Picasso's new lover, the model and sometime artist Fernande Olivier (1881-1966). A sheet of studies for The Actor, made around New Year's Eve 1904, includes two profiles of Fernande and shows the same correction to the placement of the actor's left leg and foot that is visible in the painting.
Picasso painted The Actor on the back of a previously used canvas, on which another, unidentified artist had painted a landscape with swirling water.
Picasso’s friend Frank Burty Haviland, the wealthy Franco-American painter whose brother, the photographer Paul Haviland, backed Alfred Stieglitz's New York gallery, 291, was the first owner of this work. It was first exhibited in the Sonderbund show in Cologne in May 1912, to which it was lent by Paul Leffmann, a German industrialist. In 1938, Leffmann sold it to Picasso’s dealer Paul Rosenberg and long-time Picasso collector Hugo Perls. The automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy gifted it to the Museum in 1952.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Picasso
Frank Burty Haviland, Paris and Céret (likely acquired from the artist, ca. 1905 – 1912; sold through Joseph Brummer); [likely Brummer Frères, Paris, in co-shares with Haviland; stock no. xk21, sold in April 1912, to Feldmann]; [likely Rheinische Kunstsalon (Otto Feldmann), Cologne, April 1912; sold to Leffmann]; Alice and Paul Friedrich Leffmann, Cologne and Fribourg (1912 – June 1938; the canvas was left in the care of Professor Dr. Heribert Reiners, in Fribourg, Switzerland by September 7, 1932; sold through Käte Perls); [Galerie Käte Perls, Paris, acting as agent for Leffmann, 1937-1938]; [Hugo Perls, Paris, then New York, bought 1/3 share with Rosenberg, June 1938 – November 15, 1941; sold through Rosenberg]; [Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Paris; and Rosenberg & Helft Gallery, London; then Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, bought 2/3 shares with Perls, June 1938 - November 15, 1941; stock no. 4014; sold to Charles Henschel of Knoedler]; [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1941; sold to Mrs. Chrysler Foy]; Thelma Chrysler Foy, New York (1941 – 1952; her gift to the MMA, 1952)

Cologne. Städtische Ausstellungshalle. "Internationale Kunstausstellung des Sonderbundes Westdeutscher Kunstfreunde und Künstler," May 25–September 30, 1912, no. 216 (p. 40, pl. 28; as "Schauspieler").

Cologne. Rheinische Kunstsalon (Otto Feldmann). "Pablo Picasso," March 15–April 15, 1913, no. 5 (as "Der Schauspieler") [likely also traveled to Prague, 1913].

Berlin. Ausstellunghaus am Kurfürstendamm. "Herbstausstellung," December 1913, no. 160 (as "Der Schauspieler").

Cologne. Kölnische Kunstverein. "Kunst in Kölner Privatbesitz," mid-February–end March 1916, no. 78 (as "Der Schauspieler").

Cologne. Kölnische Kunstverein. "Moderne Kunst aus Kölner Privatbesitz," January 1929, no catalogue.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," November 15, 1939–January 7, 1940, no. 29.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," February 1–March 5, 1940, no. 29.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," March 16–April 14, 1940, no. 29.

Boston. Museum of Fine Arts. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," April 26–May 25, 1940, no. 29.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," June 25–July 22, 1940, no. 29.

Cincinnati Art Museum. "Picasso: Forty Years of His Art," September 29–October 27, no. 29.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Aspects of French Painting from Cézanne to Picasso," January 15–March 2, 1941, no. 31.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The World of Balenciaga," March 21–July 1, 1973, not in catalogue.

New York. Acquavella Galleries. "Picasso: A Loan Exhibition for the Benefit of Cancer Care, Inc., The National Cancer Foundation," April 15–May 17, 1975, unnumbered cat.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective," May 22–September 16, 1980, unnumbered cat. (p. 54 and checklist p. 9).

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. 20).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 23.

Hans Hildebrandt. "Die Frühbilder Picassos." Kunst und Künstler II (1913), p. 378, as "Der Schauspieler".

"Kunst Wissenschaft und Leben: Bildende Kunst in Köln." Kölnische Zeitung (March 27, 1913), p. 1, as "Schauspieler".

Karl Scheffler. "Die Letzte Ausstellung der Berliner Sezession." Kunst und Künstler 12 (December 1, 1913), p. 202, ill., as "Pierrot".

Maurice Raynal. Picasso. Munich, 1921, pl. 18, as "L'acteur—Schauspieler".

Max Creutz. "Hans Leffmann in Köln von Architekt Bruno Paul." Dekorative Kunst 24 (January–February 1921), p. 76, ill. pp. 75, 79, 83 (installation photos of Leffmann home, Cologne).

Maurice Raynal. Picasso. Paris, 1922, pl. 18.

Hermann Muthesius. Die schöne Wohnung: Beispiele neuer deutsche Innenräume. Munich, 1922, p. 137, ill.

Oskar Schürer. Pablo Picasso. Berlin and Leipzig, 1927, pl. 2, as "Der Schauspieler".

Dial 85 (October 1928), unpaginated, ill., as "L'acteur".

L. S. E. "Ausstellungen." Das Kunstblatt 13 (1929), p. 95, notes that it was lent by Paul Leffmann to Exh. Cologne 1929.

Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 1, Works from 1895 to 1906. Paris, 1932, p. 124, no. 291, ill., as "The Actor".

James Thrall Soby. "Picasso: A Critical Estimate." Parnassus 11 (December 1939), p. 10, ill. p. 8, as "The Actor".

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Picasso: Forty Years of His Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1939, p. 37, no. 29, ill. p. 39.

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art. New York, 1946, p. 33, ill.

Jacques Lassaigne. Picasso. Paris, 1949.

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. Picasso. Barcelona, 1950, pl. 12, as "El actor".

"Additions to the Collections." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Incorporating the Eighty-Third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Year 1952 12 (Summer 1953), p. 18.

William S. Lieberman. Pablo Picasso: Blue and Rose Periods. New York, 1954, pls. 21, 22.

Sanka Knox. "Art Epoch Opens at Metropolitan: 700 Masterpieces Go on View Today in the 44 Recreated Galleries of the Museum." New York Times (January 9, 1954), p. 17.

Denys Sutton. Picasso, Peintures: Époques bleue et rose. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1948). Paris, 1955, fig. 23, as "L'Acteur".

Frank Elgar and Robert Maillard. Picasso: Étude de l'oeuvre. Paris, 1955, pp. 18, 265, ill.

Frank Elgar and Robert Maillard. Picasso: A Study of His Work. New York, 1956, p. 22, ill.

Antonina Vallentin. Pablo Picasso. Paris, 1957, p. 113, as "L'Acteur".

Günter Aust. "Die Ausstellung des Sonderbundes 1912 in Köln." Wallraf-Richartz Jahrbuch 23 (1961), p. 284.

Hugo Perls. Warum ist Kamilla schön? Von Kunst, Künstlern und Kunsthandel. Munich, 1962, ill. on cover.

Anthony Blunt and Phoebe Pool. Picasso, the Formative Years: A Study of His Sources. London, 1962, p. 21.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, pp. 231–32, ill.

Pierre Daix and Georges Boudaille. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, 1900–1906. Greenwich, Conn., 1967, pp. 65, 67–68, 70, 74, 254, 256, no. XII.i, ill.

Paolo Lecaldano. L'opera completa di Picasso blu e rosa. Milan, 1968, p. 99, no. 154, pl. 27, as "L'Attore".

Georges Boudaille. Picasso: Première époque, 1881–1906: Périodes bleue et rose. Paris, 1969, pl. VI.

André Fermigier. Picasso. Paris, 1969, pp. 46–47, 392, fig. 28, as "L'Acteur".

Roland Penrose. Picasso: His Life and His Work. rev. ed. (first edition 1958). New York, 1973, p. 111, pl. III.i.

Donald E. Gordon. Modern Art Exhibitions, 1900–1916: Selected Catalogue Documentation. Vol. 2, Munich, 1974, p. 593.

Pierre Cabanne. Pablo Picasso: H‎is Life and Times. New York, 1977, pp. 94, 97, 211.

Denys Chevalier. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods. New York, 1978, pp. 40, 64, 69, ill.

Ronald Christ. "Picasso's Hands: The Mutability of Human Form." ArtsCanada no. 236–37 (September–October 1980), pp. 21–22, ill.

Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: The Early Years, 1881–1907. New York, 1981, pp. 396, 399, 403, 544–45, no. 1017, ill.

Roland Penrose. Picasso: His Life and His Work. 3rd ed. (1st ed., 1958). Berkeley, 1981, pp. xii, 108, pl. III.1.

Pierre Cabanne. Picasso: Pour le centenaire de sa naissance. Neuchâtel, 1981, p. 60.

Christine Piot. "Décrire Picasso." PhD diss., Universite de Paris Pantheon-Sorbonne, October 1981, p. 61.

Jacques Perry. Yo Picasso. Paris, 1982, p. 110.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine et al. Donation Louise et Michel Leiris: Collection Kahnweiler-Leiris. Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1984, p. 169.

Haruki Yaegashi et al., ed. Laurencin. Exh. cat., Art Gallery Shueisha. Tokyo, 1985, p. 72.

Marie-Laure Bernadac and Paule de Bouchet. Picasso, le sage et le fou. Paris, 1986, p. 33, ill.

Pierre Daix. Picasso créateur: La Vie intime et l'oeuvre. Paris, 1987, p. 56.

Pierre Daix and Georges Boudaille. Picasso, 1900–1906: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint. Neuchâtel, 1988, pp. 67, 69–70, 256–57, no. XII.i, ill.

John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 1, 1881–1906. New York, 1991, pp. 248, 315, 337–38, 502 n.31, ill.

Denys Chevalier. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods. New York, 1991, pp. 62–63, 73, ill.

Michèle Richet in Picasso, Jeunesse et genèse: Dessins, 1893–1905. Ed. Brigitte Léal. Exh. cat., Musée Picasso. Paris, 1991, p. 112.

Carsten-Peter Warncke. Pablo Picasso, 1881–1973. Ed. Ingo F. Walther. Vol. 1, The Works 1890–1936. Cologne, 1992, p. 114, ill.

Núria Rivero, Teresa Llorens, and Pierre Daix in Picasso, 1905–1906: From the Rose Period to the Ochres of Gósol. Exh. cat., Museu Picasso. Barcelona, 1992, pp. 34, 48 n. 23.

Hélène Seckel. Picasso: Les Chefs-d'oeuvre de la période rose. Quarante tableaux. Munich and Paris, 1992, p. 11, pl. 1, as "L'Acteur".

Alfred Ziffer, ed. Bruno Paul: Deutsche Raumkunst und Architektur zwischen Jugendstil und Moderne. Munich, 1992, p. 211, fig. 398.

Joseph Low (Pepe) Karmel. "Picasso's Laboratory: The Role of his Drawings in the Development of Cubism, 1910–14." PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1993, vol. 1, p. 18 n. 4.

Danièle Boone. Picasso. rev. ed. (1st ed., 1989). London, 1993, p. 12.

Christian Geelhaar. Picasso: Wegbereiter und Förderer seines Aufstiegs, 1899–1939. Zürich, 1993, pp. 47, 57, 237, 274 n. 133, figs. 39, 268.

John Richardson. "Picasso und Deutschland vor 1914." Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts; 20 Jahre Wittrock Kunsthandel; 20 Werke. Ed. Heiko Andreas and Wolfgang Wittrock. Düsseldorf, [1994], p. 26, as "Schauspieler".

Pierre Daix. Dictionnaire Picasso. Paris, 1995, pp. 9, 286, 416, 646, 763.

Michael C. FitzGerald. Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art. New York, 1995, pp. 254, 301 n. 115.

Marilyn McCully, ed. Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Washington, D.C., 1997, pp. 44, 217–18, fig. 6.

Anne Baldassari. Le Miroir noir: Picasso, sources photographiques, 1900–1928. Exh. cat., Musée Picasso. Paris, 1997, pp. 124, 128, fig. 113.

Grace Glueck. "When One City Was the Heart of Art's Youth." New York Times (March 10, 2000), p. E39.

Brigitte Leal, Christine Piot, and Marie-Laure Bernadac. The Ultimate Picasso. New York, 2000, pp. 72, 76, 89, 504, fig. 149.

Elizabeth Cowling. Picasso: Style and Meaning. London, 2002, pp. 118–19, fig. 93.

William Owen Harrod. Bruno Paul: The Life and Work of a Pragmatic Modernist. Stuttgart, 2005, pp. 49, 52, 104, fig. 78.

Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, pp. 350, 355.

"Pablo Picasso: Works from an Important Sketchbook of 1905." Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper. Sotheby's, London. February 8, 2006, p. 16, under no. 126, ill.

Peter Read. Picasso and Apollinaire: The Persistence of Memory. Berkeley, 2008, p. 14.

Marie-Laure Bernadac and Paule de Bouchet. Picasso, le sage et le fou. Paris, 2009, p. 41, ill.

"Out of Storage, Into Spotlight: Met Shows Off its Picassos." Washington Post (April 18, 2010), p. E8.

Carol Vogel. "After Repairs, a Picasso Returns." New York Times (April 21, 2010), pp. C1, C7, ill.

Linda Yablonsky. "Picasso’s Life, as seen through museum prism." The Record (April 28, 2010), p. F-9, ill.

Terry Marocco. "La Primavera di Picasso." Panorama (April 29, 2010), pp. 140 ff.

"Picasso at the Met." Newsday (April 30, 2010).

Tonica Chagas. "Picasso o gênio e suas surpresas." Estado de Sao Paulo (June 22, 2010), p. D5, ill.

Carol Vogel. "Woman Collides with a Picasso." New York Times (January 25, 2010), p. C2, ill.

Carol Vogel. "Questions Over Fixing Torn Picasso." New York Times (January 26, 2010), p. C1, ill.

Janet Bishop, Cécile Debray, and Rebecca Rabinow, ed. The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde. Exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco, 2011, p. 116.



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