Gallery in Edinburgh buys one of the 30 collages made by Picasso that had been in private collection in Sweden for more than 40 years
A rare still life cubist collage by Pablo Picasso that features newspaper cuttings of ads for Quaker oats and Cherry Rocher cherry brandy has been acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Of the 30 collages Picasso made, only a handful remain in private hands. It shows a stylised glass and bottle standing on a table, in a medium seen as revolutionary in the early 20th century. It was made using charcoal, ink and pencil and stencilled lettering, but the bottle was cut from samples of a French newspaper, Le Journal, dated 12 December 1912.
Picasso’s experiments in collage, most using newspaper cuttings, were influenced by works made in late 1912 by his friend and cubist pioneer George Braque.
Simon Groom, director of the Gallery of Modern Art, said it was a stunning acquisition – “the kind of work that any of the world’s great museums would love to have.
“In this small group of newspaper collages Picasso turned centuries of tradition upside down, and the reverberations are still being felt in the art of today. Together with the drawing we acquired last year, a collage from 1913, and a painting of the same period, we now have a superb collection of Picasso’s cubist work.”
The collage had been in a private collection in Sweden for more than 40 years. The gallery was able to buy it at auction, through a legacy from Henry Walton, former professor of psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh, and Sula Wolff, author of acclaimed works on child psychiatry. They bequeathed their art collection to the gallery, including a dozen Picasso prints, but also set up a fund specifically for important acquisitions related to the collection.

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