Pablo Picasso, ‘ The Barbarous Dance (in Front of Salomé and Hérod), from: Saltimbanques Suite | La Danse barbare [devant Salomé et Hérode]: La Suite des Saltimbanques’, 1905, Gilden's Art Gallery

Málaga 1881-1973 Mougins (Spanish)

Title: The Barbarous Dance (in Front of Salomé and Hérod), from: Saltimbanques Suite | La Danse barbare [devant Salomé et Hérode]: La Suite des Saltimbanques, 1905

Technique: Original Drypoint on Van Gelder Zonen Wove Paper

Paper size: 33 x 51 cm. / 26 x 20.1 in.
Image size: 18.5 x 23.2 cm. / 7.3 x 9.1 in.

Additional Information: This is an original drypoint by the artist Pablo Picasso.
It was realised in 1905 in a limited edition of 250 unsigned and unnumbered impressions. A further 27 or 29 proofs were printed on Japan Ancien paper.
This is the 15th plate in Picasso’s “La Suite des Saltimbanques”, Picasso’s first ever series of etchings.
The suite was published in 1913 by Ambroise Vollard and printed by Louis Fort, Paris.
The paper bears the Van Gelder Zonen watermark in the upper left margin.

In 1905, Pablo Picasso painted the masterpiece "La Famille des Saltimbanques", today considered as the crucial piece of his pink period. The painting depicts six saltimbanques, a kind of itinerant circus performer, in a desolate landscape. The composition groups them together, but they do not seem connected to each other and are not looking at each other.
It was painted during a period from late 1904 to early 1906, when Picasso explored themes using the saltimbanque. Picasso frequently attended the Cirque Médrano in Montmartre. Critics have suggested that the Family of Saltimbanques is a covert group portrait of Picasso and his circle, symbolized as poor, independent, and isolated.
Our etching together with the rest of the etchings in the “La Suite des Saltimbanques” are directly inspired by this theme.
Other impressions of this subject can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modert Art (MoMA), New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta Georgia.


  1. Bloch, G. (1968), Pablo Picasso: Tome I, Catalogue of the printed graphic work 1904-1967. Bern: Editions Kornfeld et Klipstein.
    Reference: Bloch 15
  2. Baer, B. (1992). Picasso: Peintre-Graveur, Tome II, Catalogue Raisonne de l'OEuvre Grave. Bern: Editions Kornfeld.
    Reference: Baer 18

Condition: Excellent condition. Very minor toning at the right sheet edge.

About Pablo Picasso

A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. “Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.

Spanish, 1881-1973, Malaga, Spain, based in Paris and Mougins, France