Pablo Picasso. Study for Les Demoiselles D'Avignon. Paris, early 1907

Pablo Picasso Study for Les Demoiselles D'Avignon Paris, early 1907

  • Not on view

In 1906 and 1907 Picasso worked on many drawings and sketches for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, his most ambitious work to that point. This small, unstretched canvas—one of Picasso's preparatory oil sketches—provides a window into the artists thought process in conceptualizing Demoiselles. The seven figures in the curtained room of a brothel include two male figures—clients, perhaps: a sailor at center and a medical student standing at left, holding a skull. Neither of these figures is present in the final painting; Picasso shifted the composition so that the women confront the viewer directly.

Gallery label from 2009.
Oil on canvas
7 1/2 x 8" (18.5 x 20.3 cm) (irregular)
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange)
Object number
© 2023 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.

1907 - ?, Pablo Picasso, Paris.

? - 1954, Maurice Raynal, Paris, probably acquired from the artist.

1954 - November 28, 1991, Estate of Maurice Raynal sold through Francis Briest Commissaire Priseur, Drouot Montaigne (Ancienne Collection Maurice Raynal, November 28, 1991, lot 1), Paris.

1991, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased at auction through Francis Briest Commissaire Priseur, Drouot Montaigne.

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