The Pomegranate
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
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
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.)
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris]. [Hôtel Drouot, Paris, sale 17-18 November 1921, catalogue number 170], sold. Private collection, (? - 1972) gift; to Fogg Art Museum.

NOTE: Provenance from "Picasso The Cubist Years 1907-1916"; catalogue compiled by Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet; Little Brown & Company.
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
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, exh. cat., Abbeville Press/Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, 1985), p. 66, fig. 58, color ill.

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, ed., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 191, ill.

Exhibition History

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

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, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted