Picasso depicted this hillside scene using interlocking facets of color that determine whether a given shape should be understood as land or sky. The deliberately naive rendering of the tree branches and foliage recalls the style of the self-taught painter Henri Rousseau, a favorite of the Parisian avant-garde. Extensive underdrawing in charcoal is particularly noticeable in the unpainted areas, and while the work may appear to be unfinished, it is not. Signed and dated on the verso, it was sold by the artist to his dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and then loaned to an important 1913 Picasso exhibition at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in Munich.
Inscription: Signed and dated [later] (verso): Picasso 1907 Signed twice (on original backboard): Picasso
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, in 1914; stock no. 373, photo no. 135, as "Paysage," spring 1908; sequestered Kahnweiler stock, Paris, December 12, 1914–22; third Kahnweiler sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, July 4, 1922, no. 16, sold for Fr 210, to Brummer]; [Brummer Gallery, Paris and New York, 1922–24; sold on January 15, 1924 to Speiser]; Maurice J. and Martha Speiser, Philadelphia (1924–44; their sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, January 27, 1944, no. 97, as "Tree Forms," sold for $550, to Dudensing); [Valentine Gallery (Valentine Dudensing), New York, 1944–ca. 1945–47; probably sold between 1945–47 to Warrington]; John Warrington, Cincinnati (by 1947-d. 1996); possibly his heirs, Cincinnati (1996–2007; sold as "Property of a Mid-Western Estate," Christie's, New York, November 7, 2007, no. 120, sold to Ganz); Kate Ganz, New York (2007–9; in 2009 to KALART LLC); [KALART LLC, 2009–14; sold in 2014 to MMA with funds donated by Leonard A. Lauder, New York]
Munich. Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser. "Ausstellung Pablo Picasso," February 1913, no. 39 (as 1908).
Cologne. Rheinische Kunstsalon (Otto Feldmann). "Pablo Picasso," March 15–April 15, 1913, no. 24 or 25.
The Print Club of Philadelphia. "Drawings: The French School. Contemporary French Drawings in Black and White and Color," November 10–27, 1930, no. 65 (as "Abstraction," watercolor, lent by Maurice Speiser).
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Contemporary Painting from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice J. Speiser," January 13–February 14, 1934, no. 51 (as "Tree Forms").
Cincinnati Art Museum. "The Fourth Biennial Exhibition: Acquisitions of Modern Art Society Members," October 8–November 17, 1947, unnum. broch. (as "Landscape," lent by Mr. John W. Warrington).
Cincinnati. Contemporary Arts Center. "The Modern Art Society: The Center's Early Years, 1939-1954. An Exhibition in Celebration of the Fortieth Anniversary of The Contemporary Arts Center," October 13–November 25, 1979, unnumbered cat. (p. 68; lent by a private collection, Cincinnati).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Cézanne and Beyond," February 26–May 31, 2009, unnumbered cat. (pl. 52; as 1907, lent by Kate Ganz).
New York. Frick Collection. "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition," October 4, 2011–January 8, 2012, no. 37 (as spring 1908, lent by KALART LLC).
Washington, D.C. National Gallery of Art. "Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition," January 29–May 6, 2012, no. 37.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015 not in catalogue.
Drawings: The French School. Contemporary French Drawings in Black and White and Color. Exh. brochure, The Print Club of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 1930, no. 65.
Loan Exhibition of Contemporary Painting from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice J. Speiser. Exh. cat., Pennsylvania Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1934, unpaginated, no. 51.
Christian Zervos. Pablo Picasso. Vol. 2a, Works from 1906 to 1912. Paris, 1942, unpaginated, no. 55, pl. 29, as "Paysage," Paris, winter 1907–8.
The Fourth Biennial Exhibition: Acquisitions of Modern Art Society Members. The Cincinnati Modern Art Society. Exh. brochure, Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati, 1947, unnumbered brochure.
Marc Le Bot. Francis Picabia et la crise des valeurs figuratives: 1900–1925. Paris, 1968, fig. 9, as 1907; erroneously lists it in the Galerie Louise Leiris.
Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet. Picasso, The Cubist Years, 1907–1916: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works. Boston, 1979, p. 224, no. 180, ill., as "Landscape," Paris, spring 1908 (?), present location unknown.
Ruth K. Meyer. The Modern Art Society: The Center's Early Years, 1939-1954. An Exhibition in Celebration of the Fortieth Anniversary of The Contemporary Arts Center. Exh. cat., Contemporary Arts Center. Cincinnati, 1979, p. 68, ill.
Malcolm Gee. Dealers, Critics, and Collectors of Modern Painting: Aspects of the Parisian Art Market Between 1910 and 1930. PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art. New York, 1981, appendix F, p. 42, no. 121.
Josep Palau i Fabre. Picasso: Cubism, 1907–1917. New York, 1990, p. 95, fig. 249, as "Leafiness," Paris, summer 1908.
Julia May Boddewyn in Michael FitzGerald. Picasso and American Art. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 2006, pp. 337, 340.
Joseph J. Rishel and Katherine Sachs, ed. Cézanne and Beyond. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2009, p. 535, pl. 52.
Marilyn McCully in Susan Grace Galassi and Marilyn McCully. Picasso's Drawings, 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 2011, pp. 167–69, no. 37, ill. (color).