Pablo Picasso

Spanish, 1881-1973

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Harlequin (Project for a Monument), 1935

Artwork Details


oil on canvas


support: 24 1/4 x 19 3/4 inches (61.59 x 50.16 cm); framed: 33 3/4 x 29 3/8 x 1 5/8 inches (85.72 x 74.61 x 4.13 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


Room of Contemporary Art Fund, 1941

Accession ID


During the late 1920s Pablo Picasso became interested in designing imaginary “monuments” in which inventive and surrealistic figures are envisioned as gigantic sculptures. Here he revisits the Harlequin as a lighthearted figure, his cap perched jauntily on his head. Lemon yellow, violet, orange-red, and green and muted tones of blue, rose, and chocolate brown are framed in heavy black lines and set against a background of silvery white. “Cubism,” said Picasso, is “an art dealing primarily with forms, and when a form is realized it is there to live its own life. A mineral substance, having geometric formation, is not made to transitory purposes, it is to remain what it is and will always have its own form.”

Label from Picasso: The Artist and His Models, November 5, 2016–February 19, 2017

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