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Glass of Absinthe
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Glass of Absinthe

Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973

Made in France, Europe


Painted bronze with absinthe spoon

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

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

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 269, Modern and Contemporary Art, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952

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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) [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. Owing to Kahnweiler's German citizenship, the French government declared him an ‘enemy alien’ and seized his stock as enemy property. After WWI he re-opened his gallery as Galerie Simon. 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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