Pablo Picasso. The Reservoir, Horta de Ebro. Horta de Sant Joan, summer 1909

Pablo Picasso The Reservoir, Horta de Ebro Horta de Sant Joan, summer 1909

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 503 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

The landscapes Picasso produced in Spain in 1909 were critical to the development of the early Cubist style, in which subjects are rendered from multiple perspectives using faceted forms and simplified geometric shapes. In The Reservoir, Horta de Ebro (titled using the artist’s name for the town of Horta de Sant Joan), Picasso used interlocking planes to fuse the land’s rugged topography with the terra-cotta and stucco architecture of the village. The spatial ambiguity characteristic of Cubism is evident: the steep hillside suggests an upward gaze while the curved shape at the bottom—a cistern—reveals a downward view into a reflection on water.

Gallery label from Cézanne to Picasso: Paintings from the David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection, July 17–August 31, 2009.
Oil on canvas
24 1/8 x 20 1/8" (61.5 x 51.1 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller
Object number
© 2020 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

1909, Pablo Picasso.

1909 - 1913, Leo Stein (1872-1947) and Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), Paris, acquired from the artist.

1913 - 1946, Gertrude Stein, Paris and San Francisco.

1946 - 1968, Estate of Gertrude Stein, c/o Alice B. Toklas, Paris.

1968, The Museum of Modern Art Syndicate, New York, purchased from the heirs of the Stein estate.

1968 - 1991, David and Peggy Rockefeller, New York, acquired from the Museum of Modern Art Syndicate.

1990, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired as fractional and promised gift from David and Peggy Rockefeller.

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