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Self-Portrait with Palette
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Self-Portrait with Palette

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973

Made in Europe


Oil on canvas

36 3/16 x 28 7/8 inches (91.9 x 73.3 cm) Framed: 46 1/2 × 38 5/8 × 4 inches (118.1 × 98.1 × 10.2 cm)

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

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 272, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1950

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Picasso made this self-portrait at age twenty-five. In preparatory drawings he placed a brush in his right hand, but he chose not to include it here. Its absence is notable; it may be Picasso sending a message to viewers of art: creativity is not merely a manual skill but an inner vision.

The ovoid head, staring eyes, and long ears are elements Picasso borrowed from an ancient sculpture. In this painting he responds to the carved head’s enigmatic, masklike expression. And since it came from an archaeological site not far from Málaga, his birthplace, it also connects to Picasso’s own sense of Spanishness.


Purchased from the artist by A. E. Gallatin (1881-1952), New York, 1929, probably in summer [1]; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. As per inscription on stretcher, in pencil: "Portrait of Picasso bought from Picasso 1929 A.E.G.", and Gallatin's cataloguing card (The New-York Historical Society, Additional Papers of A. E. Gallatin, series 7, box 4, f. 1). Gallatin announced the acquisition in a Gallery of Living Art press release of October 17, 1929. See also Gail Stavitsky, The Development, Institutionalization, and Impact of the A. E. Gallatin Collection of Modern Art, Ph. D. dissertation, New York University, 1990, vol. 9, p. 212.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.