The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham has pulled off a major coup by welcoming a major painting by an artist described as the most important in the last century – Pablo Picasso.
Going on display on Friday, August 29, Woman Sleeping in a Chair will be at the University of Birmingham-based gallery .
Painted in 1927, the picture has come from Japan and is believed to be the first major painting by the controversial Cubist ever to have gone on public exhibition in the city.
The gallery is also welcoming works by German artist Paul Klee and German 18th-century painter Johann Zoffany this autumn.
In return some of the Barber’s best-loved works are going out on loan to blockbuster exhibitions in the US, Germany and Japan.
The Picasso, one of the greatest and most popular treasures of the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan, comes to the Barber on loan in exchange for the Barber’s landmark Whistler painting, Symphony in White No 3.
The semi-abstract Picasso painting, from a key era of the great Cubist’s life, is believed to be a conflated image of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s mistress and muse of the moment, and Olga Khokhlova, his wife.
Also arriving in September will be Johann Zoffany’s intriguing A Life Class at St Martin’s Academy, 1761/2.
This comes from the Royal Academy collection in London in exchange for the Barber's major Gainsborough, The Harvest Wagon, which is to be exhibited in the exhibition Rubens and his Legacy in Brussels and at the RA.
The three loans are on display between the following dates:
PABLO PICASSO, Woman Sleeping in a Chair: August 30, 2014 – March 8, 2015 (Blue Gallery)
JOHANN ZOFFANY, A Life Class at St Martin’s Academy: September 26, 2014 – April 5, 2015 (Beige Gallery)
PAUL KLEE, Flußbaulandschaft (River-engineering Landscape): Nov 7, 2014 – Feb 1, 2015 (Blue Gallery)