Pablo Picasso 1881-1973
Inscribed 'Picasso' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 19 1/4 (65 x 49)
Purchased from Reid and Lefevre (Grant-in-Aid 'T' Fund) with the aid of the CAS 1933
Prov: [?Le Père Soulier, Paris]; with Louis Libaude, Paris; Leo Lewin, Breslau; with Reid and Lefevre, London
Exh: Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Some of the Works acquired by the CAS, Tate Gallery, July-August 1935 (37); RSA, Edinburgh, May-August 1946 (182)
Lit: Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso (Paris 1932), Vol.1, No.61, repr. pl.28; Georges Boudaille, Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet, Picasso 1900-1906 (Neuchâtel 1966), No.V.22, p.168 repr.
Repr: Carlos Peacock, Painters and Writers (London 1949), pl.77 in colour
Painted in Paris in 1901 and possibly one of the still lifes of flowers included in Picasso's exhibition with F. Iturrino at the Galerie Vollard in June-July 1901. In addition to no.6 'Iris' (probably Zervos, op. cit., No.58) and no.60 'Roses' (probably Zervos, op. cit., No.9), there were two pictures nos.27 and 28 entitled respectively 'Flower' and 'Flowers', both of which were lent by Mme Besnard. However the fact that it is an early Blue Period work would suggest that it is more likely to have been painted toward the end of the year.
On being shown a photograph of this work by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in 1950, Picasso recalled that somebody - he remembered the name as Dr Rhein or Rheims - had asked him to paint a still life of flowers, but when the picture was finished he found the price (20 francs) too high and didn't take it. So Picasso sold it, probably for less, to a dealer in second-hand goods like Père Soulier.
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, p.592, reproduced p.592