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Paul Verlaine

Artist:
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France )
Date:
1945
Medium:
Ink on paper
Dimensions:
11 5/8 x 8 1/4 in. (29.5 x 21 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Bequest of William S. Lieberman, 2005
Accession Number:
2007.49.81
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Picasso drew this portrait of the French Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), and another of his friend Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), on the endpapers to an edition of Mallarmé's poetry that belonged to his friend Paul Éluard (1895-1952). The Metropolitan's drawing was separated from both the book and its companion drawing at some point before 1966.
Picasso was probably introduced to Verlaine's poetry while still a teenager in Spain, but it was Max Jacob, whom he met in Paris in the summer of 1901, who was responsible for the artist's early education in French literature, especially Verlaine. Picasso met Éluard in the mid-1920s through his associations with the Surrealists. He dedicated a number of poems to Picasso and collected his work. In turn, Picasso contributed original illustrations to Éluard's publications.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed on verso, in ink: Pour/ Paul Eluard/ Picasso/ Paris le mardi 6 juin 1945; dated, upper left and upper right: 5.6.45
Paul Éluard (Eugène Grindel), Paris (1945–d. 1952; gift of the artist on June 6, 1945); possibly his daughter, Cécile Éluard; [M. Knoedler & Cie, Paris and New York, by 1966–67; sold in October 1967 to Avnet]; Lester Francis and Joan Avnet (1967–ca. 1978); William S. Lieberman, New York (by 1978–d. 2005; his bequest to MMA)

Paris. Galerie Knoedler. "Picasso: Dessins et aquarelles, 1899–1965," October–December 1966, no. 74.

New York Cultural Center. "A Selection of Drawings, Pastels and Watercolors from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lester Francis Avnet," December 9, 1969–January 25, 1970, no. 106.

National Museum of Western Art. May 1, 1971–June 20, 1971, no. 91.

Kurume. Ishibashi Museum. July 1, 1971–August 1, 1971, no. 91.

Auckland City Art Gallery. September 7, 1971–October 17, 1971.

National Gallery of Victoria. November 11, 1971–January 2, 1972.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010.

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