Maquette for Le Tricorne (The Three Cornered Hat)

Maker and role
Artist: Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881-1973

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Watercolor, ink, and graphite on board
6 1/4 x 10 1/2 x 5 1/2in (15.9 x 26.7 x 14cm)
Credit line
Gift of The Tobin Endowment
Accession number
Object type
Theatre production information
Ballet with music by Manuel de Falla and choreography by Léonide Massine. Produced by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes at the Alhambra Theatre, London, 1919.
Subject period


Thank you for your clarification, which helped to decipher less distinct passages of the on-screen image. I had been thrown by the absence of the miller's house on the right. Could you please tell me the number of separate layers there are, including the rectangular proscenium (are the viaduct and the hilly landscape on the same plane)?

- Melissa McQuillan

Posted on 16-06-2020 14:02:33

In May 1919, Picasso began working with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes for the upcoming July production of "Le Tricorne." He produced several models and designs while staying at the Savoy Hotel in London, devoting almost three months to designing for the ballet. The maquette owned by the McNay is an early model, and the attribution has indeed been verified. The image is a faithful representation of the maquette; several versions exist with varying components and layouts, though all reflect Picasso's streamlined Cubist style. This maquette is a visitor favorite and one of many standout objects in the Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts!

- Liz Paris, Collections Manager

Posted on 22-05-2020 17:20:25

The photo on your website appears to be reversed. Compare to the final design and the maquette in the Musée Picasso, Paris (M.P. 568 and M.P. 569). Do you have information on the previous provenance of the Tobin Maquette? Could it be the 'constructional model' prepared by the scene painter Vladimir Polunin?

- Melissa McQuillan

Posted on 22-05-2020 16:39:50