Skip to content


An image of The frugal repast by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

(Spain, France 25 Oct 1881 – 08 Apr 1973)

The frugal repast
Other titles:
The frugal meal
Alternative title:
Le repas frugal
Media category
Materials used
from the edition of 250 on van Gelder paper

46.3 x 37.7 cm platemark; 64.4 x 50.6 cm sheet

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Winifred Vere Hole Bequest Fund 1994
Accession number
© Pablo Picasso, 1904/ Succession Pablo Picasso. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Not on display
Further information

The sentimentality in certain of Picasso's images from his Rose and Blue periods at the beginning of the twentieth century is unmistakable. It is also strategic. The Spanish painter had a native interest in emotive themes, especially those arising from the bohemia in which he was steeped in both Barcelona and Paris. 'The frugal repast' makes a powerful psychological appeal to the viewer. A thin-lipped woman of brittle demeanour and physique rests her head on a rigid hand as if it were a shelf. Her blind companion palpates her with fleshless fingers. The setting before them is as sparse as a desert landscape. For all this desolation, however, Picasso's self-consciously mannerist style makes it plain that this is not a slice of life but a work of art - a contrived one at that. Old Masters such as El Greco and Rosso Fiorentino were his models as much as the living ones Picasso doubtless observed.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.

Bibliography (9)

Brigitte Baer, Picasso the printmaker: Graphics from the Marina Picasso Collection, 'Le Repas fugal and the Saltimbanques', p30-34, Unknown, 1983, 30- 33.

Stephen Coppel, Picasso and Printmaking in Paris, 'Early Picasso and Matisse', London, 1998, 9-10.

Ebria Feinblatt, Picasso: 60 years of graphic works, Unknown, Sep 1966, 18.

Renée Free, Look, 'Paris Blue', pg. 19, Heidelberg, Sep 1994, 3 (illus.), 19 (illus.). The image appearing on page 3 is in detail.

Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pg. 108-172, Sydney, 1994, 144 (colour illus.).

Renée Free, Modernism 1900-1950: prints and drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1994, cover (illus.).

Marilyn McCully (Editor), Picasso: The early years, 1892-1906, '1904-1905 ', Milan, 1997, 229.

John McPhee, Great collections, Sydney, 2008, 97 (colour illus.).

Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Les peintres graveurs de Paris, Woollahra, 1994, (illus.). 19

Exhibition history (3)

Modernism 1900-1950: prints and drawings from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Jul 1994–25 Sep 1994

Les Peintres Graveurs de Paris, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Woollahra, 16 Aug 1994–10 Sep 1994

Great collections (2009):

Art Set
Add this work to your own Art Set.