Basel: Two Picasso “Harlequins” welcomed at the Kunstmuseum – Switzerland

Two Picasso “Harlequins” are hung next to each other for the first time since the artist painted them in 1923. The meeting between the two paintings takes place at the Kunstmuseum in Basel.

The painting “Harlequin seated” has been exhibited since 1947 at the Kunstmuseum. Collector Rudolf Staechelin lent it to the museum. Due to financial difficulties, the heirs wanted to sell it in 1967. The citizens of Basel had then accepted in a vote that the canton buy the painting as well as another work by Picasso.

“Harlequin” was part of the Karl Im Obersteg collection before being sold to a private collector. The painting had not been shown in a public exhibition since 1969.

An extraordinary event

The fact that these two paintings are found side by side for the first time in almost a century is an extraordinary event, declared the director of the Basel museum Josef Helfenstein during the hanging.

The two works are exhibited as part of the exhibition “Picasso, Chagall, Jawlensky – masterpieces from the Im Obersteg collection”, visible to the public from February 22 to May 24. This private collection has been deposited at the Kunstmuseum since 2004.

Karl Im Obersteg bought works which aroused his enthusiasm and constituted a challenge, explains the Kunstmuseum. He was fascinated by the transformative power of art. During fifty years, he acquired paintings which gave birth to a collection mixing personal tastes and international renown. (Ps / nxp)

Created: 02-14-2020, 1:11 p.m.

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