Still Life with Chair Caning

Pablo Picasso Spanish

Not on view

Picasso made the first Cubist collage by pasting a piece of oilcloth (a waterproof fabric used for tablecloths) onto an oval canvas depicting café fare and a newspaper. For this radical act—inserting a fragment of reality into the fictive realm of painting—he ingeniously selected a mass-produced, ready-made visual deception. Machine-printed to look like the textured rattan weave used in chairs, this piece of trumpery is materially real but patently fake. Picasso then surrounded his still life with rope, a handy substitute for the traditional hand-carved frames that mimic braiding. In so doing, he wittily imitated an imitation.

The Met acknowledges the exceptional generosity of the Musée National Picasso-Paris in lending this work; this is the first time in thirty years that it has been exhibited in the United States.

Still Life with Chair Caning, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France), Oil and printed oilcloth on canvas edged with rope

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.

© RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Mathieu Rabeau. © 2020 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York