As of today, Pablo Picassos 1911 painting Femme au Violon will enrich the collection of modern art at the Pinakothek der Moderne
and fill a gap in the museums collection. This spectacular long-term loan from a German private collection complements Munich s present holdings of works by the most important artist of the 20th century with a masterpiece of Analytical Cubism.
The painting on display in gallery 6 of the Pinakothek der Moderne tangibly demonstrates Picassos refinement of the Cubist vocabulary from his Crystal Bowl in 1909, through Fan of 1910 (both provided by artists-cum-collectors Woty and Theodor Werner), to the Femme au Violon, which embodies a geometrical form of Cubism of profoundly abstracted figuration, dating from 1911. A comparison between George Braques Woman with Mandolin from 1910 another major work of Cubism at the Pinakothek der Moderne and Picassos Femme au Violon provides a vivid impression of one of the seminal artistic dialogues in the art of the high-modernist period, as seen in these two correlating works.
Femme au Violon captivates the gaze due to the elegance of the daubed application of vibrating grey-brown hues, the radical dissolution of form, and geometric decomposition of the figure and instrument. The composition marks the culmination and conclusion of non-figuration in Picassos work at the point in time of spring 1911.
Not only visually arresting, the painting also boasts a distinguished provenance and exhibition history. On loan from Paris-based art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, in 1912 it embodied the very latest development in Picassos style and was shown at the now-legendary Sonderbund Ausstellung in Cologne . After its acquisition by the collector and art dealer Alfred Flechtheim, it featured in the first ever Picasso retrospective held on German soil, which opened at Heinrich Thannhausers renowned Moderne Galerie in Munich in 1913. After that, the work changed hands several times before ending up, in 1927, in the famous collection of the Krefeld-based textile manufacturer Hermann Lange. Today, a century after it went on display at Thannhausers gallery, it returns to the city of Munich to add a striking and vital accent to our excellent collection of Cubism and French avant-garde art.
The generous long-term loan was brokered by Wolfgang Wittrock of Berlin and is a tribute to the tireless and ongoing work of the General Director of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Professor Klaus Schrenk, and his efforts to raise the profile of French modern art in Germany.