Pablo Picasso. Glass of Absinthe. Paris, spring 1914

Pablo Picasso

Glass of Absinthe

Paris, spring 1914

Painted bronze with absinthe spoon
8 1/2 x 6 1/2 x 3 3/8" (21.6 x 16.4 x 8.5 cm), diameter at base 2 1/2" (6.4 cm)
Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith
Object number
© 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Pablo Picasso has 1,238 works online.
There are 1,519 sculptures online.

Picasso cast six bronze copies of Glass of Absinthe from a wax original and decorated each of them uniquely. In this version he broke new ground by incorporating an existing object into his sculpture: a real absinthe spoon nestles between the modeled bronze sugar cube and glass. (Absinthe is prepared by pouring the brilliant green liquid through a sugar cube resting on a slotted spoon like the one seen here.) Picasso spoke of his desire to explore different modes of representation: "I was interested in the relation between the real spoon and the modeled glass. In the way they clashed with each other."

Gallery label from Focus: Picasso Sculpture, July 3–November 3, 2008

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884-1979), Paris, 1914 [1]; seized during the war by the French government as enemy property and sold through Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 13-14, 1921 [2]. Fine Arts Associates (Otto and Ilse Gerson), New York [3]; sold to Louise Reinhardt Smith, New York, October 1956 [4]; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 1956 (Gift of Louise Reinhardt Smith).
[1] Label inside base of sculpture: “Galerie KAHNWEILER/1984/28, Rue Vignon, PARIS.” Pierre Daix, Picasso: The Cubist Years, Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1979, no. 756.
[2] Tableaux, gouaches, & dessins, sculptures, faïences décorées, art nègre, éditions de luxe. [1st sale of Kahnweiler collection]. Paris: Hôtel Drouot, June 13-14, 1921, no. 139 (multiple lot).
[3] Included in the exhibition Rodin to Lipchitz, Part II, Fine Arts Associates, New York, October 9-November 3, 1956, no.47
[4] Collection files, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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