Picasso Museum of Barcelona

Glass and Tobacco Packet
Dated 1924 on the picture frame
Oil on canvas and polychrome moulding
16 x 22 cm the painting and 36,5 x 42,5 with the frame, made by Picasso himself
Sabartés Collection
MPB 70.243

The Work

During 1924 and the following year, the artist returned to strongly experimenting with still-life that he had begun at the turn of the century and which would be immensely important throughout his artistic life. (The Museum houses the first still-life painting by Picasso).

Picasso’s still-lifes from the twenties show a marked bent towards the abstract whilst they connect with the recently created surrealist postulates which proclaimed the need to renew aesthetic creations.

The composition of Glass and Tobacco Packet is very synthetic and concise with wavy lines which are fine in some places and bolder in others.The simplification of the features places the oil painting a step away from abstraction. The work responds to what Alfred H. Barr calls ‘curvilinear Cubism’ – the geometrical vertical and horizontal plans disappear in favour of fluid curved lines and the desire to simplify forms tending to a high level of abstraction but without ever losing a sense of reality.

The outstanding luminosity given to the objects and the immediate surrounding settles into a harmonious combination of ochre and blue tones making the dark backdrop stand out. The painting goes beyond the limits of the canvas and invades its outline – the creator’s subtlety also allowing the frame to be felt, painted in soft tones.


Room 11