This landscape, depicting mountains in the distance, a river with a sailboat at midground, and a cluster of buildings in the foreground, was painted while Picasso was staying at the picturesque hilltop village of Horta de Ebro (present-day Horta de Sant Joan) in Catalonia. He reduced the already rudimentary structures of rural architecture to their geometric essences. The Oil Mill was one of the first Cubist images to be illustrated in the Italian press. After seeing it on the front page of the December 1911 issue of the Florentine journal La Voce, the Futurists were inspired to modernize their style and engage in a rivalry with their French peers.
Inscription: Signed (verso, upper left): Picasso
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, spring 1910, as "Paysage," inv. no. 446; photo no. 27; sold in 1910 for Fr 500, to Dutilleul]; Roger Dutilleul, Paris (1910–d. 1956); his nephew, Jean Masurel, Mouvaux, France (1956–d. 1991); his heirs, Paris (1991–2000; sold in February 2000 to Lauder); Leonard A. Lauder, New York (from 2000)
Paris. Galerie Georges Petit. "Exposition Picasso," June 16–July 30, 1932, no. 53.
Venice. Biennale. "XXV Biennale di Venezia," June 8–October 15, 1950, no. 30 (shown in Sala V, “Quattro maestri del Cubismo").
New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Boccioni's Materia: A Futurist Masterpiece and the Avant-garde in Milan and Paris," February 6–May 9, 2004, no. 17.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 57.
Henri des Pruraux. "Intorno al Cubismo." La Voce 3, no. 49 (December 7, 1911), ill. p. 703.
Vincenc Kramář. Kubismus. Brně, 1921, pl. 9, as "Továrna—Moulin à huile," spring 1910.
Pierre Reverdy. Pablo Picasso. Paris, 1924, ill. p. 37.
[Amédée] Ozenfant. Art. [English ed., 1931]. Paris, 1928, p. 75, ill., as 1910.
Amédée Ozenfant. Foundations of Modern Art. New York, 1931, ill. p. 69, as 1910.
Exposition Picasso. Exh. cat., Galerie Georges Petit. Paris, 1932, p. 25, no. 53.
Will Grohmann. "Picasso." Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart: Unter Mitwirkung von etwas 400 Fachgelehrten. Ed. Ulrich Thieme Felix Becker. Vol. 26, Leipzig, 1932, p. 577, as "Le moulin à huile".
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 2a, Works from 1906 to 1912. Paris, 1942, unpaginated (list of plates), no. 160, pl. 79, as Paris, winter 1909.
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. The Rise of Cubism. New York, 1949, p. viii, ill. p. 25, as "Oil-Mill, Horta".
Douglas Cooper inXXV Biennale di Venezia: Catalogo. Exh. cat., Biennale. Venice, 1950, p. 55, no. 30.
Franco Russoli and Fiorella Minervino. L'opera completa di Picasso cubista. Milan, 1972, p. 101, no. 276, ill. p. 100, as "Mulino".
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso en Cataluña. 2nd ed. Barcelona, 1975, p. 267, no. 212, ill. p. 170, as "Casas de Horta de Ebro".
Françoise Cachin and Fiorella Minervino. Tout l'oeuvre peint de Picasso, 1907–1916. Paris, 1977, p. 101, no. 276, ill. p. 100.
Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet. Picasso, The Cubist Years, 1907–1916: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works. Boston, 1979, p. 242, no. 277, ill., as spring 1909.
Ann Temkin in Gary Tinterow. Master Drawings by Picasso. Exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum. Cambridge, Mass., 1981, fig. 15, as spring–summer 1909.
Judith Cousins inPicasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism. Ed. William Rubin. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1989, p. 385 (German ed., 1990, p. 369; French ed., 1990, and Spanish ed., 1991, p. 369).
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: Cubism, 1907–1917. New York, 1990, pp. 150, 502, no. 434, ill. p. 153, as "The Oil Mill, Horta," Paris, autumn 1909.
John Richardson with the collaboration of Marilyn McCully. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 2, 1907–1917. New York, 1996, p. 128, ill.
Vincenc Kramář. Le Cubisme. Ed. Hélène Klein, and Erika Abrams, with Jana Claverie. (1st ed., 1921). Paris, 2002, pp. 36, 109 n. 36, and p. 121 no. 9, as spring 1910.
Laura Mattioli Rossi, ed. Boccioni's Materia: A Futurist Masterpiece and the Avant-Garde in Milan and Paris. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 2004, p. 108, no. 17, ill.
Tobia Bezzola. Picasso by Picasso: His First Museum Exhibition, 1932. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Munich, 2010, ill. p. 98, Reber no. 11 (installed in the “Exposition Picasso,” Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, 1932).
Carol Vogel. "Billion-Dollar Cubist Gift to the Met." International Herald Tribune (April 11, 2013), p. 12.
Carol Vogel. "$1 Billion Gift Gives Met a New Perspective (Cubist)." New York Times (April 10, 2013), p. A18.
Jennifer Maloney. "The Secret behind Lauder's Gift." Wall Street Journal (May 24, 2013), p. D8.
"Objects Promised to the Museum during the Year 2012–2013." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Hundred Forty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (2013), p. 47.
Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 236, 239.
Isabelle Monod-Fontaine inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 59–61, 65, 305(3)n.5, p. 306(1)n.20, no. 57, ill. p. 62 (color).
Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, p. 282, figs. 57 (in ref. des Pruraux 1911), 66B, p. 289 (installation photo, Exh. Paris 1932).
Alan Hyman, ed. The Picasso Project: Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue, 1885–1973., Analytic Cubism, 1909–1912. San Francisco, 2015, pp. 45, 321, 330, no. 1909-090, ill. p. 45.
"The Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection: A Conversation with Emily Braun and Pepe Karmel." IFAR Journal 16, no. 3 (2015), p. 49, fig. 28 (color).