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This was the first work by Pablo Picasso to be bought by the Tate Gallery. It was acquired in 1933 with the help of the Contemporary Art Society, a fund established in 1910 to help public museums and galleries buy important works of art. This surprising flower painting by Picasso reveals a lot about the tastes of the Tate Gallery Trustees in the early twentieth century. In 1933 Picasso was already an established avant-garde artist, but the decision to buy this conservative early work shows that the Trustees were resisting the more radical developments in modern art.

September 2004