Glass of Absinthe
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973
Made in France, Europe Date:
Painted bronze; silver-plated spoonDimensions:
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 YorkCuratorial Department:
Modern ArtObject Location:
Currently not on viewAccession Number:
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952
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.
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) ; with Galerie Simon, Paris; sold to A. E. Gallatin, New York, 1935 ; 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.