Pablo Picasso. Glass of Absinthe. Paris, spring 1914

Pablo Picasso Glass of Absinthe Paris, spring 1914

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 505 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

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.
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
© 2022 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

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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.

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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