This painting belongs to a small group of pictures of extravagantly dressed women that evoke the Parisian demimonde of dance halls and brothels. The electric palette and broad dabs of paint relate it to other works that Picasso painted in Madrid in spring 1901, in anticipation of his upcoming show at the Galerie Vollard in Paris. Picasso arrived in Paris in May 1901 with a good number of paintings, pastels, and drawings, but not enough for his show. Installing himself at a Parisian studio, he may have made as many as three pictures a day in order to achieve the sixty-three catalogued items plus the dozens of uncatalogued drawings that were ultimately exhibited. Given the artist's chameleon-like changes of style, it is now impossible to discern which of the pictures exhibited at Vollard's were painted in Madrid and Barcelona in early 1901 and which were painted in Paris in the days preceding the opening.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): - Picasso -
Ignacio Zuloaga, Elgueta and Paris (acquired from the artist, probably by exchange, ca. 1903/5–d. 1945); his son, Antonio Zuloaga, Paris (1945–52; sold in March 1952 for $10,000 to Gelman); Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1952–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
Paris. Galerie Vollard. "Exposition de tableaux de F. Iturrino et de P.–R. Picasso," June 25–July 14, 1901 [probably this picture].
Paris. Galerie Charpentier. "Cent portraits de femmes du XVe siècle à nos jours," 1950, no. 79.
New York. M. Knoedler and Co., Inc. "Picasso: An American Tribute. 1895–1909," April 25–May 12, 1962, no. 5.
Tokyo. National Museum of Modern Art. "Pikaso/Picasso," May 23–July 5, 1964, no. 4.
Kyoto. National Museum of Modern Art. "Pikaso/Picasso," July 10–August 2, 1964, no. 4.
Nagoya. Prefectural Museum of Art. "Pikaso/Picasso," August 8–18, 1964, no. 4.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 69).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 93).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cézanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde," September 13, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 142.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010, no. 13.
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 6, Supplément aux volumes 1 à 5. Paris, 1954, p. 174, no. 1461, ill.
Pierre Daix and Georges Boudaille. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, 1900–1906. Greenwich, Conn., 1967, pp. 42, 159, 182, no. V.60, ill.
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: The Early Years, 1881–1907. New York, 1981, pp. 245, 249, no. 636, ill.
Denys Chevalier. Picasso: The Blue and Rose Periods. New York, 1991, p. 25, ill.
Impressionist and Modern Art Sale.June 2002, p. 32, ill.