The Ram's Head
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
On View

Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the 20th century, is perhaps best known for his championing of Cubism. During the 1920s, he combined elements from the Classical, Cubist, and Surrealist movements creating a series of still life paintings. Compactly arranged, Picasso's "Ram's Head" imposes the cubist idiom over cups, tablecloths, and other motifs re-presenting them as geometric circles and flat planes of color, which then border and taunt the imposing head of a ram. The classically derived subject matter of the still life, a table laden with sea life and an animal head -- all the elements necessary for a meal -- slips into a disorienting, Surrealist dreamscape in which still life appears to float in water, suggested by the blue waves, as much as it exists on a flat table.


  • Artist Name: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
  • Title: The Ram's Head
  • Date: 1925
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 31-1/2 x 39 in. (80.0 x 99.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. Alexandre P. Rosenberg
  • Accession Number: P.1978.6
  • Copyright: © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

Pablo Picasso, gift 1925? to;
Paul Rosenberg, Paris (until 1940) and New York, by inheritance to;
Alexandre P. Rosenberg, New York, offered 30 January 1975 and subsequently given as a gift 29 December 1978/13 November 1979 to;
Norton Simon Museum.

Exposition d'oeuvres choisies de Pablo Picasso

  • Paris, Paul Rosenberg, 1936-03-03 to 1936-03-31
  • Picasso: Forty Years of His Art,no. 191 p. 125
  • Giuere, M., Initiation à l'oeuvre de Picasso,no. 64
  • Susan Landauer, Elmer Bischoff, the Ethics of Paint,fig. 21 p. 23
  • Elsen, A., Purposes of Art, p. 49
  • Henning, E., Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art,fig. 18 p. 201
  • Boggs, Jean S., Picasso & Things, p. 201
  • Cahiers d'Art, p. 93
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 196
  • Cahiers d'Art, p. 165
  • Picasso, An American Tribute,no. 44
  • Barr, Alfred H., Picasso: Fifty Years of his Art, p. 138
Impressions: Parsing Picasso’s 1932 Retrospective
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris Pablo Picasso 1930-37
Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris: At the Bath Pablo Picasso October 17, 1930
Suite Vollard, 1939, Paris: Man Unveiling a Woman Pablo Picasso June 20, 1931

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