Picasso presumably drew "Blue Vase" to catch the attention of the dealer Ambroise Vollard, who at the time was commissioning other young painters (such as André Derain, Jean Puy, Ker-Xavier Roussel, and Maurice de Vlaminck) to decorate ceramics. Vollard had hosted Picasso's first Paris exhibition in 1901, and although he began making purchases from him in May 1906 (at the suggestion of Leo and Gertrude Stein), he did not invite Picasso to participate in his ceramics venture.
Inscription: Signed in graphite, lower right (on vase): Picasso
[G. & L. Bollag, Zurich, by 1925; sale, G. & L. Bollag, Zurich, April 3, 1925, no. 163, probably bought in]; [Galerie Suzanne Bollag, Zurich, by 1965–68; sale, Sotheby's, London, April 24, 1968, no. 122, sold to Orton]; D. R. Orton (from 1968); The Honorable and Mrs. Douglas Dillon, New York (until 1998; their gift to MMA)
Frankfurter Kunstverein. "Picasso: 150 Handzeichnungen aus sieben Jahrzehnten," May 29–July 4, 1965, no. 22.
Kunstverein in Hamburg. "Picasso: 150 Handzeichnungen aus sieben Jahrzehnten," July 24–September 5, 1965, no. 22.
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Picasso: Painter and Sculptor in Clay," September 17–December 16, 1998, unnumbered cat. (fig. 19).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso: Painter and Sculptor in Clay," March 3–June 6, 1999, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 28.
Pierre Daix and Georges Boudaille. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, 1900–1906. Greenwich, Conn., 1967, p. 290, no. D.XIV.6, ill.
Paolo Lecaldano. L'opera completa di Picasso blu e rosa. Milan, 1968, p. 106, no. 242, ill.
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 22, Supplément aux années 1903–1906. Paris and New York, 1970, p. 123, no. 341, ill.
Ronald Johnson. The Early Sculpture of Picasso, 1901–1914. PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley. New York, 1976, pp. 51, 209, fig. 41.
John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 1, 1881–1906. New York, 1991, p. 457, ill.
Jean Sutherland Boggs. Picasso & Things: The Still-Lifes of Picasso. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1992, pp. 42–43 n. 17.