Pablo Picasso, France, 1905, Oil on canvas, 39 x 39 1/2 in. (99.1 x 100.3 cm)
In this celebrated work, now an icon of life in bohemian Paris at the turn of the last century, Picasso depicts himself dressed as a Harlequin. He is accompanied by his recent lover Germaine Pichot. Previously, she had been the fatal obsession of Picasso’s great friend Casagemas, who committed suicide in 1901. The painting was commissioned by Frédé Gérard—seen playing guitar in the background—for his Montmartre cabaret, Le Lapin Agile, where it was the only work by Picasso on permanent view in Paris from 1905 until 1912, when it was sold to a German collector.