Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ambroise Vollard

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France)
Graphite on paper
18 3/8 x 12 5/8 in. (46.7 x 32.1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
In the summer of 1915, a year after the outbreak of World War I and the mobilization of friends such as Georges Braque, André Derain, and Guillaume Apollinaire, Picasso found himself reconstructing his own life in Paris. Although the art market had ground to a halt, Picasso was casting about for a new dealer. He had always made portraits of the dealers he was wooing, so in August he made this pencil portrait of Ambroise Vollard in imitation of Ingres; it was his second effort in this style. Picasso shows Vollard sitting on a chair in his new studio on the rue Schoelcher. Although Vollard famously enjoyed sitting to artists-"He has the vanity of a woman," Picasso told Françoise Gilot-Picasso drew from a photograph, following it quite closely.
Vollard (1866-1939) was one of the most extraordinary art dealers of the twentieth century; his support of artists such as Cézanne, Gauguin, and Picasso, from 1906-11, was crucial. From his first show at Vollard's gallery on the rue Laffitte in 1901, through his creation, in the 1930s, of the set of one hundred etchings known as the Vollard Suite, Picasso had great but wary respect for the canny dealer and even, as one sees in this portrait, some affection. Although Vollard never gave Picasso the contract he wanted, he kept this drawing until his death.
Inscription: Signed and dated (in graphite, lower right): Picasso/ Paris Aout 1915
Ambroise Vollard, Paris (1915–d. 1939; purchased from the artist in August 1915 for Fr 500; his estate, from 1939); [Martin Fabiani, Paris]; [André Weil, New York, until 1947; sold in December 1947, through John Rewald, to MMA]

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso: 75th Anniversary Exhibition," May 22–September 8, 1957, unnumbered cat. (p. 48).

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

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Picasso: A Loan Exhibition of His Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, Ceramics, Prints and Illustrated Books," January 8–February 23, 1958, no. 76.

Rotterdam. Museum Boymans. "Van Clouet tot Matisse, Tentoonstelling van franse tekeningen uit amerikaanse collecties," July 31–September 28, 1958, no. 217.

Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "De Clouet à Matisse, dessins français des collections américaines," October–November 1958, no. 217.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "French Drawings from American Collections: Clouet to Matisse," February 3–March 15, 1959, no. 217.

Fort Worth Art Center Museum. "Picasso: Two Concurrent Retrospective Exhibitions," February 8–March 26, 1967, no. 171.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 398.

Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Dessins Français du Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, de David à Picasso," October 25, 1973–January 7, 1974, no. 75.

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. 96.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Impresario Ambroise Vollard," June 9–September 7, 1977, not in catalogue (unnumbered checklist).

Toronto. Art Gallery of Ontario. "Impresario Ambroise Vollard," October 22–December 4, 1978, not in catalogue (unnumbered checklist).

Urbana-Champaign. Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois. "Impresario Ambroise Vollard," January 15–February 19, 1978, not in catalogue (unnumbered checklist).

Toledo Museum of Art. "Impresario Ambroise Vollard," March 19–April 23, 1978, not in catalogue (unnumbered checklist).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective," May 22–September 16, 1980, unnumbered cat. (p. 192).

Cambridge, Mass. Fogg Art Museum. "Master Drawings by Picasso," February 20–April 5,1981, no. 52.

London. Tate Gallery. "On Classic Ground: Picasso, Léger, de Chirico and the New Classicism, 1910–1930," June 6–September 2, 1990, no. 131.

Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper. "Max Jacob et Picasso," June 21–September 4, 1994, no. 155.

Paris. Musée Picasso. "Max Jacob et Picasso," October 4–December 12, 1994, no. 155.

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation," April 28–September 17, 1996, unnumbered cat. (p. 299).

Paris. Grand Palais. "Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation," October 15, 1996–January 20, 1997, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," September 13, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 154.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," February 17–May 13, 2007, no. 154.

Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "De Cézanne à Picasso: Chefs d'oeuvre de la galerie Vollard," June 19–September 16, 2007, no. 100.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 61.

New York. Frick Collection. "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition," October 4, 2011–January 8, 2012, no. 59 (as "Portrait of Ambroise Vollard").

Barcelona. Museu Picasso. "Picasso Portraits," March 16–June 25, 2017, no. 87.

Arvid Fougstedt. "Une Visite chez Pablo Picasso." Svenska Dagbladet (January 9, 1916), p. 10.

Albert Skira, ed. Picasso. Geneva, 1921, p. 9.

Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 2b, Works from 1912 to 1917. Paris, 1942, p. 384, no. 922, ill.

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art. New York, 1946, pp. 94–96, 110, ill.

Daniel E. Schneider. "The Painting of Pablo Picasso: A Psychoanalytic Study." College Art Journal 7 (Winter 1947–48), p. 82, fig. 2.

"Review of the Year 1947." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (Summer 1948), p. 21.

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Matisse: His Art and His Public. New York, 1951, pp. 204, 586.

Franco Russoli. Pablo Picasso. Exh. cat., Palazzo Reale. Milan, 1953, p. 103.

Maurice Jardot. Exposição Picasso: IIa Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo. Exh. cat., Museu de Arte Moderna. Sao Paolo, 1953, p. 18.

Frank Elgar and Robert Maillard. Picasso: Étude de l'oeuvre. Paris, 1955, p. 86, ill. p. 93.

Wilhelm Boeck and Jaime Sabartés. Picasso. New York, 1955, pp. 177–78.

Frank Elgar and Robert Maillard. Picasso: A Study of His Work. New York, 1956, pp. 88, 90, ill. p. 97.

Picasso: Malerier, tegninger, frafikk, skulptur, keramikk. Exh. cat., Kunstnernes Hus. Oslo, 1956, p. 97.

Antonina Vallentin. Pablo Picasso. Paris, 1957, p. 221.

Roland Penrose. Picasso: His Life and His Work. New York, 1958, p. 192.

Jakob Rosenberg. Great Draughtsmen from Pisanello to Picasso. Cambridge, Mass., 1959, pp. 205–6, pl. 131.

Maurice Jardot. Pablo Picasso Drawings. New York, 1959, p. 155, ill. p. 42.

Robert Rosenblum. Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art. New York, 1960, pp. 86, 98, 319, fig. 56.

Arthur Millier. The Drawings of Picasso. Los Angeles, 1961, ill.

John Richardson, ed. Picasso: An American Tribute. Exh. cat., Saidenberg Gallery. New York, 1962, unpaginated.

Jacob Bean. 100 European Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, [1964?], unpaginated, no. 97, ill.

Hans Ludwig C. Jaffé. Pablo Picasso. New York, 1964, p. 20, fig. 19.

Michel Sanouillet. Francis Picabia et 391. Paris, 1966, p. 251.

Hans Ludwig C. Jaffé. Pablo Picasso. Paris, 1967, p. 18, fig. 19.

Jean Leymarie. Picasso Drawings. Geneva, 1967, pp. 44–45, 106, ill.

H. H. Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, [1968], p. 323, fig. 512.

Tom Prideaux. "Terrible Ladies of Avignon–Cubism." Life Magazine 65 (December 27, 1968), p. 58, ill.

Anthony Blunt. "Picasso's Classical Period (1917-1925)." Burlington Magazine 110 (April 1968), p. 187.

André Fermigier. Picasso. Paris, 1969, pp. 126–27, fig. 70.

Jean Leymarie. Picasso: Métamorphoses et unité. Geneva, 1971, p. 291, ill. p. 206.

William John Mahar. "Neo-Classicism in the Twentieth Century: A Study of the Idea and Its Relationship to Selected Works of Stravinsky and Picasso." PhD diss., Syracuse University, 1972, pp. 446, 449–55, 463, fig. 5.

Jean Leymarie. Picasso: The Artist of the Century. New York, 1972, p. 293, ill. p. 206.

Juan-Eduardo Cirlot. Picasso, Birth of a Genius. New York and Washington, 1972, p. 159.

Roland Penrose. Picasso: His Life and His Work. rev. ed. (first edition 1958). New York, 1973, pp. 212, 225.

Roseline Bacou. "Dessins français du Metropolitan Museum de Art, New York, de David à Picasso." Revue du Louvre 23, nos. 4–5 (1973), p. 311, fig. 4.

Timothy Hilton. Picasso. London, 1975, pp. 131–33, 280, fig. 94.

Janet Hobhouse. Everybody Who Was Anybody: A Biography of Gertrude Stein. New York, 1975, p. ix, ill.

Robert Rosenblum. Cubism and Twentieth Century Art. Rev. ed. New York, 1976, pp. 93, 114, 341, fig. 56.

Felix Andreas Baumann. Pablo Picasso: Leben und Werk. Stuttgart, 1976, pp. 81, 206, fig. 138.

H. H. Arnason. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. Rev. and enl. ed. New York, 1977, p. 331, fig. 521.

Pierre Daix. La Vie de peintre de Pablo Picasso. Paris, 1977, p. 147.

Robin Gibson. 20th Century Portraits. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery. London, 1978, p. 9, fig. 5.

Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet. Picasso, The Cubist Years, 1907–1916: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works. Boston, 1979, pp. 164, 170–71, ill.

Mary Mathews Gedo. Picasso: Art as Autobiography. Chicago, 1980, pp. 106–7, ill.

Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: The Early Years, 1881–1907. New York, 1981, chronology.

Roland Penrose. Picasso: His Life and His Work. 3rd ed. (1st ed., 1958). Berkeley, 1981, pp. 205–6.

Pablo Picasso. Tokyo, 1981, p. 103, ill.

Jean Jouvet, ed. Pablo Picasso, der Zeichner: Dreihundert Zeichnungen und Graphiken, 1893–1972. Zürich, 1982, p. 123, pl. 48.

Gary Tinterow, ed. Juan Gris (1887–1927). Exh. cat., Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Madrid, 1985, p. 49, ill.

Arnold Glimcher Marc Glimcher, ed. Je suis le cahier: The Sketchbooks of Pablo Picasso. Exh. cat., Pace Gallery. New York, 1986, p. 82.

Pierre Daix. Picasso créateur: La Vie intime et l'oeuvre. Paris, 1987, p. 170.

Hans Ludwig C. Jaffé. Pablo Picasso. Concise ed. London, 1988, p. 20, fig. 19.

Pierre Daix in Picassos Klassizismus: Werke von 1914-1934. Ed. Ulrich Weisner. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Bielefeld, 1988, pp. 78, 141, 167, figs. 4, 6.

Kenneth E. Silver. Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1914–1925. Princeton, 1989, pp. xii, 69–70, fig. 40.

Patricia Leighten. Re-Ordering the Universe: Picasso and Anarchism, 1897–1914. Princeton, 1989, p. xiv, fig. 106.

Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: Cubism, 1907–1917. New York, 1990, p. 521, no. 1336, ill. p. 444.

Christian Geelhaar. Picasso: Wegbereiter und Förderer seines Aufstiegs, 1899–1939. Zürich, 1993, p. 19, fig. 7.

Pierre Daix. Picasso: Life and Art. New York, 1993, p. 170.

David Batchelor. "'This Liberty and This Order': Art in France after the First World War." Realism, Rationalism, Surrealism: Art between the Wars. New Haven, 1993, pp. 67–68, pl. 59.

Michael C. FitzGerald. Making Modernism: Picasso and the Creation of the Market for Twentieth-Century Art. New York, 1995, pp. 54–55, 281 n. 18, fig. 17.

John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 2, 1907–1917. New York, 1996, p. 359, ill.

Arnauld Pierre in Francis Picabia: Les Nus et la méthode. Exh. cat., Musée de Grenoble. Paris, 1997, pp. 14–15, fig. 27.

Paul Hayes Tucker in Monet in the 20th Century. Ed. Paul Hayes Tucker and Mary Anne Stevens. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1998, p. 72, fig. 55 (color).

Rosalind E. Krauss. The Picasso Papers. New York, 1998, pp. 131–32, 134, 139, pl. 30.

Hélène Seckel-Klein. "Deux jalons historiques de l'oeuvre graphique de Picasso entrent dans les collections publiques grâce à la dation Dora Maar: Le Portrait de Max Jacob, 1915; Dora et la Minotaure (Composition), 1936." Revue du Louvre: La Revue des Musées de France 49 (October 1999), p. 20.

Brigitte Leal, Christine Piot, and Marie-Laure Bernadac. The Ultimate Picasso. New York, 2000, pp. 180, 511, fig. 415.

Meyer Schapiro. The Unity of Picasso's Art. New York, 2000, pp. 27–28, 188–89, fig. 35.

Mark Antliff and Patricia Leighten. Cubism and Culture. New York, 2001, p. 17, fig. 10.

Tomàs Llorens Serra. Nacimiento y desintegración del cubismo: Apollinaire y Picasso. Pamplona, 2001, p. 75.

Elizabeth Cowling. Picasso: Style and Meaning. London, 2002, pp. 281–82, fig. 242.

Laurence Madeline, ed. Picasso–Ingres. Exh. cat., Musée Ingres. Paris, 2004, p. 22 n. 104, pp. 28, 167–69, fig. 22.

Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, p. 376.

Isabelle Monod-Fontaine in André Derain: An Outsider in French Art. Exh. cat., Statens Museum for Kunst. [Copenhagen], 2007, p. 121.

Anne Baldassari et al. Cubist Picasso. Exh. cat., Musée Picasso. Paris, 2007, p. 351.

Yve-Alain Bois, ed. Picasso Harlequin, 1917–1937. Exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome. Milan, 2008, p. 24, fig. 8.

Elizabeth Cowling in Picasso Portraits. Ed. Elizabeth Cowling. Exh. cat., National Portrait Gallery, London. London, 2016, pp. 102, 239, no. 87, ill. (color) pp. 105, 239.

Related Objects

Documents concerning Parade: [Handwritten letter, from Picasso to Cocteau, dated October 6, 1916]

Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France) Date: 1916-1917 Accession: GV1790.P34 C63 1916 Folder 5 Item 1 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Textile designed by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France) Date: 1950s–60s Medium: silk Accession: 1991.324.2 On view in:Not on view

Documents concerning Parade: [Letter from Picasso to Cocteau]

Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France) Date: 1916-1917 Accession: GV1790.P34 C63 1916 Folder 9 Item 7 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France) Date: ca. 1960 Medium: silk Accession: 2009.300.2125 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France) Date: ca. 1960 Medium: silk Accession: 2009.300.2126 On view in:Not on view