This is one of the largest most accomplished pastels on a theme that Picasso treated numerous times in the late teens and early twenties, a bowl and guitar. In the imagery of the smaller works the objects are placed on a gueridon (pedestal table) or on a square table (see, for example, Zervos, vol. 4, n°212 and Zervos, vol.30, n°124) both executed on September 12. 1920. In the present work Picasso has eliminated the support and has reduced the forms of the bowl and the instruments to lack silhouettes outlined against flat planes of brown, yellow and blue. The effect of transparency is further heightened by the use of a checkerboard pattern. In certain areas this is executed in the same color as the background-brown and brown, yellow on yellow and blue on blue: in others the color of the mesh contrasts with the ground and duplication of the lines suggests transparency.

Pablo Picasso
Compotier et guitare

  • 1921
  • Pastel on paper
  • 103 x 73 cm

More information

Signed and dated : « Picasso 2.2.21 » (lower right)


  • Dr. Gottlieb Friedrich Reber (before 1950)
  • Dr. Ingeborg Eichmann (acquired from the above)
  • Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired from the above in 1972)
  • Paul Haim, Paris, (acquired from the above in 1973)
  • Sale Enghien, Champin, Lombrail et Gautier, November 29, 1987, lot 37
    Acquired at the above sale


  • Winnipeg Art Gallery ; Calgary, Geinbow-Alberta institute, Vancouver Art gallery, Edmonton Art Gallery, Toronto,
  • Malborough-Godard Gallery, Picasso, a Selection of Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings, 1902-1972, 1978-79. n°3
  • Geneva, muse de l’Athénée, Picasso intime. Collection Maya Ruiz-Picasso, 1981, n°82 (although the present work was in the exhibition, it never belonged to Maya Ruys-Picasso)
  • Cologne, Galerie Gmurzynska, Pablo Picasso, 1983
  • Paris, Galerie Daniel Malingue, Maîtres impressionnistes et modernes, 1984, n°13


  • Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso : œuvres de 1920 à 1922,vol.4, N°242, ill. pl.85
    The Picasso Project, Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculptures. A comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue.
  • Neoclassicism I, 1920-1921, San Francisco, 1995, n°21-033, ill. p.174
    Joseph Palau I Fabre, Picasso, from the Ballets to the Drama (1917-1926), Madrid, 1999, n°969, ill; p.258 * Peter Kropmans and Uwe Flechner, “Von Kontinentaler Bedeutung. Gottlieb Friedrich Reber und Seine Sammlungen“, Die Moderne und ihre Sammler. Franzosische Kunst in deutschem Privatbesitz vom kaiserreich zu Weimarer Republik, Berlin, 2001, p.404

All works by Pablo Picasso


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