Pablo Picasso 1881-1973
T00414 Guitare, Journal, Verre et Bouteille
(Guitar, Newspaper, Wine-glass and Bottle) 1913
Inscribed 'Picasso' on the back
Papier collé and pen and ink on blue paper, measurements slightly irregular, 18 3/8 x 24 5/8 (46.5 x 62.5)
Purchased from Berggruen et Cie through the Princesse de Broglie and the Contemporary Art Establishment, Vaduz (Picasso Purchase Fund and Grant-in-Aid) 1961
Prov: Pierre Gaut (purchased from the artist during the Second World War); with Berggruen, Paris
Lit: Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso (Paris 1942), Vol.2A, No.335, repr. pl.160 as 'Guitare, Verre et Bouteille' 1912, the property of the artist; Robert Rosenblum, 'Picasso and the Coronation of Alexander III: a Note on the Dating of some Papiers Collés' in Burlington Magazine, CXIII, 1971, pp.604-6, repr. p.607; Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916 (London 1979), No.604, p.305, repr. pp.149 and 305
This papier collé, which is on a blue background, is said by Zervos to have been made at Céret in the spring of 1912. However it is now generally agreed that Picasso did not begin to make papiers collés until May 1912, at the earliest. Robert Rosenblum has shown that this particular still life is one of a small group of inter-related papiers collés which can be assigned on internal evidence to the spring of 1913, mainly by the dates of some of the newspaper clippings used in the collage. The cutting in this case was taken not from a contemporary newspaper but from the front page of the Figaro
of 28 May 1883. Another clipping from the same old issue of the Figaro
appears in a papier collé 'Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Newspaper' now in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf. The Düsseldorf work in turn was evidently done about the same time as a papier collé 'Guitar and Newspaper' in the collection of the late Nelson A. Rockefeller, New York, which incorporates a newspaper clipping dated 31 March 1913 which serves as a terminus post quem; the two works are very close in style and even share the same brown-and-tan decorative paper. Rosenblum has suggested that Picasso's choice of an issue of the Figaro
some thirty years old may have been inspired by the fact that the page in question carried an account of the coronation in Moscow of Czar Alexander III; and that the spring of 1913 was the 300th anniversary of the foundation of the Romanov dynasty, the celebration of which was a topic of great international interest at the time.
An examination of the edges of this work, where the paper was protected by the mount, shows that the blue paper has faded slightly. The newspaper clipping was probably rather brown by the time Picasso used it, but has since darkened further.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.595-6, reproduced p.595