Pablo Picasso. Woman with Pears. Horta de San Joan, summer 1909

Pablo Picasso

Woman with Pears

Horta de San Joan, summer 1909

Oil on canvas
36 1/4 x 27 7/8" (92.1 x 70.8 cm)
Florene May Schoenborn Bequest
Object number
© 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Pablo Picasso has 1,242 works  online.
There are 2,382 paintings online.

This is one of several portraits Picasso painted of his companion, Fernande Olivier, during the summer of 1909, a period that the couple spent in Picasso's native Spain. While the pears in the background are modeled in the round, Picasso radically reconfigured Oliviers head and bust, fragmenting them into geometrical segments. This fracturing of solid volumes offered an alternative to the traditional illusionistic and perspectival approach to depicting three–dimensional space on a two–dimensional surface and suggests the direction Picasso's process would take in the development of Cubism. The slices carved into the figures neck and the diamond recesses of her eyes are replicated in the sculpture Womans Head (Fernande), which Picasso created in the fall of that year.

Gallery label from 2009

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
The artist, Paris; sold through Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884-1979) to Alfred Flechtheim (1878-1937), Düsseldorf, Berlin, and London, 1912 [1]; [on loan to Alex Reid & Lefevre, London] [2]; acquired by Douglas Cooper (1911-1984), London, 1934 or after [3]; acquired by Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, March 1937 [4]; sold to Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York, 1937 [5]; acquired by Florene (1903-1995) and Samuel A. Marx (1948-1964), Chicago, 1955 [6]; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1996 (Florene May Schoenborn Bequest).

[1] See Das Kunstblatt vol. 15 (January 1931), p. 13, qtd. in Ottfried Dascher, Alfred Flechtheim: Sammler, Kunsthändler, Verleger, Wädenswil: Nimbus, 2011, p. 432.
Included in the exhibition Ausstellung Pablo Picasso, Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser, Munich, February 1913 (no. 52: Frauenkopf, reproduced). See Carl Einstein, Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Berlin: Propyläen-Verlag 1928, p. 265: "Frau mit Birnen. 1909. Berlin: Galerie Flechtheim (früher Kopenhagen, Sammlung Tetzen-Lund)." Tetzen-Lund's ownership is unclear.
[2] With Alex Reid & Lefevre, London, according to Pierre Daix, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings and Related Works, London: Thames and Hudson, 1979, no. 290. Included in the exhibition Thirty Years of Pablo Picasso, Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd., London (June 1931), no. 10: "Collection Alfred Flechtheim."
[3] Offered for sale at the exhibition 20th Century Classics, Mayor Gallery, London, February-March, 1934. Previously shown at the exhibitions Picasso, Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, June 15-July 30, 1932 (no. 50) and Picasso, Kunsthaus Zurich, September 11-October 30, 1932 (no. 52).
[4] See Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives, The Morgan Library & Museum, Subseries: Cooper, Douglas, 1911-1984, 113.32 (Correspondence, 1936-1941, 1952-1953, 1982).
[5] Zervos vol. II.1 (1942), no. 170. Included in the exhibition Selected Exhibition of the Walter P. Chrysler Collection, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, October 1937 (no. 11). Lent by Chrysler to the exhibition Picasso, Forty Years of His Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 15, 1939-January 7, 1940 (no. 84).
[6] Pierre Daix, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916, no. 290.

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to