The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 21, 2024

Head (Tête)

Head (Tête)

(Spanish, 1881–1973)
Unframed: 21.6 x 14 cm (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.)
© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Catalogue raisonné: Zervos VII, 41

Did You Know?

Picasso was never an official member of the Surrealist movement, but he participated in their exhibitions; their leader André Breton wrote, “We proudly claim him as one of us.”


This head is filled with multiple profiles and perspectives, most notably seen in the opposing profiles formed by the red and tan forms in the center, each with its own eye. A third eye appears on the left side of the face. The continuous line that flows through the painting reflects the semiautomatic drawing technique Picasso developed around 1924, a creative method that influenced the Surrealists. The combination of distinctly different profiles and displaced eyes may also reflect the influence of tribal art of the Pacific Islands greatly admired by Picasso and the Surrealists. While the woman’s features resemble those of Picasso’s mistress, Marie Thérèse Walter, she may not have been the model since they reportedly did not meet until January 1927.
  • Possibly Sir Roland Penrose [1900–1984], London, United Kingdom
    by 1932
    (Wildenstein & Co., Paris)
    by 1932
    Peter Watson [1908–1956], London, United Kingdom and Paris, FR
    George David Thompson [1899–1965], Pittsburgh, PA
    (Richard L. Feigen, and Co., Chicago, IL)
    Private Collection, New York, NY
    (Richard L. Feigen and Co., Chicago, IL)
    Sandra Canning Kasper, New York, NY
    Bernice McIlhenny Wintersteen [1903–1986], Villanova, PA
    by 2002
    (Richard Feigen Gallery, New York, NY, sold to Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley)
    Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley, Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
    Provenance Footnotes
    1 According to documentation from Richard Feigen in the curatorial file dated June 2002, this painting was gifted to Roland Penrose by Picasso. However, Roland did not meet Picasso until 1936, introduced by Paul Eluard in July of that year. While this is not evidence that Penrose did not own this painting before this date, it is unlikely that it was a gift from the artist. See: James King, “The Modern Colossus (1936-1938),” in Roland Penrose: The Life of a Surrealist (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016), p. 108. 
    2 Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso (Paris: Cahiers d’Art, 1932), vol. VII, cat. no. 41, p. 19, ill.
    3 According to documents supplied by Richard L. Feigen & Co. in the curatorial file.
    4 According to documents supplied by Richard L. Feigen & Co. in the curatorial file. Kasper was married to Richard Feigen from 1966-1978.
  • Zervos, Christian. Pablo Picasso. Paris: Cahiers d'art, 1932. Reproduced: Vol. 7, P. 19, no. 41
    Picasso. Exh. Cat. Zürich: Kunsthaus Zürich, 1932. Mentioned: p. 12, no. 165
    Penrose, Roland. Picasso: His Life and Work. London: Victor Gollancz, 1958. Reproduced: no. 7
    Penrose, Roland. Picasso: His Life and Work. New York: Schocken Books, 1962. Mentioned: P. 232; Reproduced: Pl. XI, 7
    Lieberman, William S. Aspects of 20th Century Art. Sydney, Australia : David Jones Limited, 1976. Reproduced: p. 28
    Weisner, Ulrich. Picassos Surrealismus: Werke 1925-1937. [Bielefeld]: Kunsthalle Bielefeld, 1991. Reproduced: P. 35; mentioned and reproduced: P. 303, no. 5
    Chipp, Herschel Browning , Alan Wofsy, and Fernand Mourlot. Picasso's paintings, watercolors, drawings and sculpture: a comprehensive illustrated catalogue, 1885-1973. San Francisco, CA: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1995. Reproduced: Vol. 4, P. 73, no. 26-092
    Palau i Fabre, Josep. Picasso: From the Ballets to Drama (1917-1926). Cologne: Könemann, 1999. Reproduced: P. 481, no. 1710; mentioned: P. 524, no. 1710
    Bezzola, Tobia. Picasso: His First Museum Exhibition, 1932. Exh. Cat. Zürich: Kunsthaus Zürich, 2010. Mentioned and reproduced: p. 237, no. 165
    Musée Picasso (Paris, France). Picasso: Tableaux Magiques. Paris: Musée National Picasso, 2019. Reproduced: P. 44, TM 11
  • Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 11, 2022-January 8, 2023).
    Barnard Collects: The Educational Eye. Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York, NY (September 28-October 31, 1989).
    Exposition Pablo Picasso. Le Musee de la ville de Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (October 15-December 4,1977); Prefectoral D'Aichi, Nagoya, Japan (December 13-26, 1977); Centre Culturel de Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan (January 5-22, 1987); Musee National d'Art Moderne, Kyoto, Japan (January 28-March 5, 1978).
    Aspects of 20th Century Art. David Jones Ltd. Gallery, Sydney, Australia (May 10-29, 1976).
    Summer Loan Exhibitions. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (1969-1972).
    Possibly included in: School of Paris: Picasso and his Contemporaries. Lefevre Gallery, London (May-June 1945).
    Picasso. Kunsthaus Zürich (September 11-October 30, 1932).
  • {{cite web|title=Head (Tête)|url=false|author=Pablo Picasso|year=1926|access-date=21 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL: