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A painting of shapes outlined in black in muted tones of brown, gray and black.

The painting is group of rectangles, stacked and closely grouped, varying in height rising to a peak in the top center. The rectangles and other shapes are outlined in black paint. The paint is applied thickly in some areas; there are broad strokes in blocks and patches of brown, gray and black with white highlights. In other areas the paint is daubed on in short thick strokes.

Gallery Text

The Pomegranate presents a reconstituted image of the world based on the fragmented nature of visual experience. The typical trappings of a cafe table — bottles, a glass, a pipe, a cigarette, and fruit — are indicated by black outlines and touches of paint rather than being thoroughly described. The words “Cafe 3,” as if stenciled on a window, introduce a note of spatial depth, even as the other elements of the painting deny it. The purported subject of this painting, the pomegranate, resembles a dissected hieroglyph, with its recognizable crown-like calyx on one side and seeds scattered about; the viewer is reminded that Picasso selected a fruit that explodes into brilliant fragments when opened.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Spanish (Malaga, Spain 1881 - 1973 Mougins, France)
The Pomegranate
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1300, Modern and Contemporary Art, Early Modernism
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
21.5 x 34.6 cm (8 7/16 x 13 5/8 in.)
framed: 33.6 x 46.7 x 3.2 cm (13 1/4 x 18 3/8 x 1 1/4 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris]. [Hôtel Drouot, Paris, sale 17-18 November 1921, Lot 170], sold to "Barlot". Private collection, ( by 1942 - 1972) gift; to Fogg Art Museum.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous gift in memory of Eric Schroeder
© Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Pierre Daix, Picasso: The Cubist Years 1907-1916, Little, Brown & Company (1979), p. 272, fig. 432
  • Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, p. 66, fig. 58, color ill.
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1990), p. 105, no. 37
  • Dr. Tobias G. Natter, Die Galerie Miethke: Eine Kunsthandlung im Zentrum der Moderne, exh. cat., Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Wien (Vienna, Austria, 2003-2004), p. 174 (repr. in color)
  • Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 191, ill.

Exhibition History

  • Ausstellung Pablo Picasso: Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser, München, Moderne Galerie Thannhauser, 02/01/1913 - 02/28/1913
  • Pablo Picasso, Galerie Miethke, 02/01/1914 - 03/31/1914
  • Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
  • Cubism: Explorations and Adaptations, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 09/18/1982 - 10/26/1982
  • Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985
  • The Maurice Wertheim Collection and Selected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings and Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum, Isetan Department Store, Tokyo, 03/01/1990 - 04/10/1990; Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art, 04/14/1990 - 05/13/1990
  • Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000
  • Re-View: S118 European & American Art since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/13/2008 - 04/09/2011
  • Re-View: European and American Art Since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 05/03/2011 - 06/01/2013
  • 32Q: 1300 Early Modernism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Collection Highlights

Verification Level

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