In this celebrated work, now an icon of life in bohemian Paris at the turn of the last century, Picasso depicts himself dressed as a Harlequin. He is accompanied by his recent lover Germaine Pichot. Previously, she had been the fatal obsession of Picasso's great friend Casagemas, who committed suicide in 1901. The painting was commissioned by Frédé Gérard—seen playing guitar in the background—for his Montmartre cabaret, Le Lapin Agile, where it was the only work by Picasso on permanent view in Paris from 1905 until 1912, when it was sold to a German collector.
Frédéric (Frédé) Gérard, Paris (1905–12; acquired from the artist in 1905; sold in 1912); Alfred Flechtheim, Düsseldorf (1912–14; sold in August 1914 for 7,000 marks, through Nils Dardel, to de Maré); Rolf de Maré, Hildesborg, Sweden, and Paris (1914–52; sold on June 10, 1952, for $40,000, to de Hauke and Brame); [César Mange de Hauke, New York and Hector Brame, Paris, 1952; sold on August 5, 1952 to Knoedler]; [Knoedler and Co., New York, 1952; sold in September 1952, reportedly for $60,000, to Payson]; Joan Whitney (Mrs Charles Shipman) Payson, Manhasset, New York (1952–d. 1975); her daughter, Mrs. Vincent (Lorinda) de Roulet, Manhasset (1975–89; sale, Sotheby's, New York, November 15, 1989, no. 31, sold to Annenberg); Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, California (1989–92; owned jointly with MMA, 1992–his d. 2002; his bequest to MMA)
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Föreningen för Nutida Konst. "Rolf de Marés Samling: Franska kubister," February 22–March 25, 1947, no. 70.
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Marseille. Musée Cantini. "Picasso," May 11–July 31, 1959, no. 6.
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Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "Picasso: Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibitions," February 8–March 26, 1967, no. 8.
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New York. Wildenstein Gallery. "Modern Portraits: The Self and Others; an Exhibition Organized by the Department of Art History and Archaeology of Columbia University in the City of New York," October 21–November 28, 1976, no. 94.
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Dial 83 (September 1927), p. 6, ill.
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Richard A. Cardwell. "Picasso's Harlequin: Icon of the Art of Lying." Leeds Papers on Symbol and Image in Iberian Arts. Ed. Margaret A. Rees. Leeds, 1994, pp. 258–59, 277, 280, fig. 3.
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William H. Robinson. Picasso and the Mysteries of Life: La Vie. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 2012, pp. 80, 82, fig. 81 (color).
Eduard Vallès inYo Picasso. Self-Portraits. Exh. cat., Museu Picasso. Barcelona, 2013, pp. 83–84, 86, fig. 3 (color).
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Paloma Alarcó inPicasso/Lautrec. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Madrid, 2017, p. 57, fig. 37 (color).
Emilia Philippot inPicasso: The Blue and Rose Periods. Ed. Raphaël Bouvier. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Basel, 2019, p. 166, fig. 8 (color).
Olivier Berggruen inPicasso: Seven Decades of Drawing. Exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries. New York, 2021, p. 17, fig. 2 (color).
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