Collection Comparisons: Picasso’s Harlequins

In the Collection Comparisons series, we pair one work from Gauguin to Picasso: Masterworks from Switzerland with a similar work from the Phillips’s own permanent collection.

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(left) Pablo Picasso, Harlequin with Black Mask, 1918. Oil on wood, 45 5/8 x 35 in. The Rudolf Staechelin Collection © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (right) Pablo Picasso, The Jester, 1905. Bronze, overall: 16 1/8 x 14 x 8 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1938; © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Aritsts Rights Society (ARS), New York

Painted in Pablo Picasso’s Montrouge, France studio, Harlequin with Black Mask at left above, shows the artist’s embrace of classicism and the motif of the harlequin, which first appeared in his Sketchbook No. 59 in 1916. Also in 1916, French writer Jean Cocteau dressed as a harlequin to invite Picasso to participate in Parade, his project for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Although a harlequin never appeared in Parade, Picasso painted one at the center of the huge curtain designed for the ballet, which may have inspired this painting.

Karl Im Obersteg and Duncan Phillips were also fascinated by this theme in Picasso’s work. In October 1923, Im Obersteg acquired Picasso’s Seated Harlequin (no longer in the collection) from Paul Rosenberg in Paris. Some 15 years later, Phillips purchased the sculpture The Jester (not currently on view at the Phillips) from Buchholz Gallery for $685.

ArtGrams: One Billion Breaths in a Lifetime

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Jill O’Bryan’s one billion breaths in a lifetime, as photographed by Instagrammer @carac_designs

In this month’s edition of ArtGrams, we’re highlighting your creative shots of Jill O’Bryan’s one billion breaths in a lifetime. Hear from the artist in this video taken during installation.

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Photo via @enid_the_nomad

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Photo via @christina.maitland

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Via Instagrammer @michalxcohen: It takes approximately 97 years to breath a billion breaths

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Photo via @rylanddevero

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Instagrammer @hanan_am says: One billion breath in a lifetime. Now time for some breaths of art.

Paintings on a European Vacation

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Installation view of one of the six galleries dedicated to a traveling exhibition of works from the Phillips’s permanent collection at the Palazzo delle Eposizioni in Rome. Photo courtesy Palaexpo

Last month, a number of works from the Phillips’s permanent collection found themselves in a new setting at the Palazzo delle Eposizioni in Rome. The exhibition will be on view through February 14, 2016, before heading to Barcelona.

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Installation view of the gallery just opposite the above picture. Photo courtesy Palaexpo


Phillips Curator Susan Behrends Frank snapped this photo of the condition reporting as a final check before this work gets installed in the galleries. Photo courtesy The Phillips Collection

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(left) The facade of the Palazzo delle Eposizioni (right) line out the door on opening night. Photos courtesy Palaexpo

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Opening night at the Palazzo delle Eposizioni. Photo courtesy Palaexpo

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(left) Phillips Curator Susan Behrends Frank discusses the exhibition with press. Photo courtesy Palaexpo (right) the exhibition makes a splash in the news after the opening. Photo courtesy The Phillips Collection