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Glass of Absinthe

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973

Geography:
Made in France, Europe

Date:
1914

Medium:
Painted bronze; silver-plated spoon

Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 4 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches (22.5 x 12.1 x 8.6 cm)

Copyright:
© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Modern Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 172, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor

Accession Number:
1952-61-114

Credit Line:
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952

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Label:
Glass of Absinthe is the only freestanding sculpture that Picasso executed between 1910 and 1926. The artist made six hand-painted bronze casts after a wax model and incorporated a silver spoon and a bronze sugar cube into each version. Absinthe, a green-colored liquor made from distilled wormwood, was thought to lead to madness and even death, but this potentially lethal drink was nonetheless extremely popular in Parisian cafés in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Due to its bitter taste, the liquid was traditionally poured into a glass of water over a sugar cube resting on a straining spoon.

Provenance

With Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris; French government, sequestered Kahnweiler stock, 1914-21; 1st Kahnweiler sequestration sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, June 13-14, 1921, lot 139 (5 bronze casts sold as one lot) [1]; with Galerie Simon, Paris; sold to A. E. Gallatin, New York, 1935 [2]; bequest to PMA, 1952. 1. According to Daix and Rosselet, Picasso: The Cubist Years, 1907-1916, Boston, 1979, no. 757, p. 332. 2. Letter of Maurice Jardot, Galerie Louise Leiris, September 18, 1987 (stock no. 12131, photo numbers 390, 391), cited by Gail Stavitsky, The Development, Institutionalization, and Impact of the A. E. Gallatin Collection of Modern Art [Ph. D. dissertation, New York University], 1990, v. 9, p. 232.


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