Pablo Picasso White Clowns - Authentic or Fakes?

When at an auction recently I came across one of the 'White Clown' prints, but did not bid – it sold for $350, which is $50 over starting bid and it only got two bids. When driving from the auction, I used my blackberry to look up prices of Picasso aquatints. This made me nervous - they were going for $20,000 and up. As I wondered if I had done the right thing, or missed an amazing opportunity I spent some time on investigating the print using publicly available resources...

Disclaimer: I am not an art expert, nor an art appraiser or an art authenticator - I am just a person that happened to be in an auction, and wanted to find out if I missed out on down payment on a a small house...

Thrift store auction offered a ... Picasso?
The first relevant piece of information I found was a an article in a news paper about a woman that had bought a print for $925 in a thrift shop auction. It was a similar print (i.e. in same series), but yet no information on its authenticity: Discussion suggests prints are old
I then found a couple of posts on; people claiming that they had these prints for long time and had some theories of how and when they had been created. One story that seems to come up here and there is that these prints were made in a long series, and the colouring on these prints were actually made by Picasso, by hand, at a gallery opening, in order to make money. It is claimed that this would explain why they were made on cheap brown paper and each print has different application of colour...

Expert Opinion - Small Pierrot
However, I started growing slightly sceptical as no-one seemed to have a certain knowledge of the prints' origin, even thought there were a few of them out there. However, an art appraiser said she thought the prints were real and that a pencil signed copy might be worth, or at least selling for, $16,000. To the person that asks the question she states: "You have a Picasso lithograph that I have seen referred to as "Small Pierrot". That she was so sure of her assessment and did not ask for any additional information made me doubt the appraisal though.

Second Opinion
This expert doubted the authenticity of a similar print, based on paper quality and other factors.

Follow-Up to the posting above, where a private person re-iterates the story regarding that these were made for a gallery opening in Zurich, and mentions a possible price of $20,000

On eBay at $400
I then came across the following site, where I was revealed to find a print for sale for $400. So I once again thought that I had not missed out on much...
The owner of the site do all transactions via eBay (here) and has listed the print per the following at $400, seller stating 'unknown' when categorizing if original or reproduction, and auction has no end date as it is a fixed price "buy it now" listing:

On eBay at $850
Listed by niceon101 as original print (as opposed to reproduction). Auction ending on April 8th.

Titled "Fencer" at
I then stumbled across these records of prints that had been sold, offered for sale or were currently for sale. With these high number of prints in recent circulation, it seemed more and more likely that they are fake. And another give-away are the 'art-work' descriptions on these pages, they state 'Pablo Picasso [after] (Spanish, 1881 - 1973)' and I assume this 'after' means that the prints were inspired by Picasso, or something similar, rather than originals.... Maybe a way of protecting against law suites?

Ashe Auctioneers
December 2008, Starting $2,000, sold for $2,500
Feb 2009, Starting $1,200, not sold
April 2009, Starting $1,200, not sold

Martin Gordon
September 2008, Starting $2000, sold for $2,000

The descriptions of the prints by both Martin Gordon and Ashe Auctioneers are exatly the same - are theses two different fronts for the same person / company?

Art Authenticator weighs in
Finally I came across this Art authenticator that specialize in Picasso. They have a version of the print showing on their pages. It is an example of an investigation that they have done - they concluded that their print was a fake:

"Is this a Picasso or

a P.Casso,

or a Picassio or

just a Picaso?

Frankly, it doesn't really matter how you spell it

because it's a still a fake!

Picasso didn't do silk screens!"

This is also interesting reading:

Freeman Art offer an initial authentication assesment, and the starting price point is $185. I believe the initial assesment can be done based on a digital image, i.e. it can be confirmed if a piece is illigimate based on a photo, but not that it is authentic.

Verdict - Fake or authentic?
The evidence is piling up to suggest that there are alot of fakes out there, and I would assume that any of these prints that I come across in the future are fakes, until proven authentic by a thorough assesment.

So rather than missing out on a good deal, it seems as if I saved $400 by not bidding...

In my mind one question still remains, is there an original Picasso art work with this motive, executed using any technique - be it a painting, print, or other?

What do you think?
Are there any 'originals' of this print, i.e. was it a painting that Picasso ever did using any technique?
Do you know any details about the story that Picasso made these prints in conjunction with a gallery opening?
Do you own a print?
How did you come to own it? When was it?

Post your comments today!


  1. The image is a genuine Picasso It dates back to May or June of 1901 and can be found on the on-line Picasso website--- reference is OPP.01. 226 --- and in the other comprehensive picasso catalogues. The reference numbers are: DB:VI:7
    I do not know the origin of these later copies, which seem to have been done using the pochoir technique. There's one in my wife's family that they have had for at least fifty years'

  2. This picture is in fact from an original painting done by Picasso in 1901, if you look at the original it is exactly the same image except the copies, reproductions,hand colored lithos or whatever you want to call them are all,and I own one and have seen about a dozen over the years, are just slightly different, leading me to believe that Picasso probably did create these as a quick way to make rent money, brothel cash or whatever. He was not a man to trifle with and he was a hot head and held a grudge and if somebody in fact got their hands on the original painting and made unauthorized copies somehow he would take immediate and severe measures.Picasso is a man who would shut down gallery showings at a whim for the slightest infraction by an art dealer.
    I took mine around to different galleries and high end auction houses and at every turn was met with complete ignorance, nobody, and I mean not one person, recognized the image being a Picasso. I also didn't know just what I had, mine was framed very well and tagged on the back from an old,old gallery stating the artist,the title and the medium. Still,all those that saw it just flat out told me that it absolutely was not a Picasso image. I was even told it was something done to "look like" a Picasso to sell in furniture stores. Not one person,even as recently as last month, could even tell me the medium that is on the picture,even though it says right on the back,"gouache" and the texure and flatness are in fact exactly like gouache.And I was accused of trying to peddle an outright fake by one gallery owner who threatened to call the police. For some reason this picture is so obscure that even Picasso experts don't know of its existence.

  3. One other thing, here you mention a couple of places, freemanart, "Art Authenticator",ect... and even they ,"experts" one and all, have zero clue as to the actual image that this edition represents.They just don't know at all.So they just nail it has a silk screen,which it is not,claim he didn't do silk screens,which he did , and brand it a fake. A fake what? They are ignorant of the paintings existence, they just don't know. All I can tell you is from what I have read about Picasso he was just not someone that anyone would want to cross,even the Nazi's steered clear of him, he had a monumental temper,was known to be violent and was the last guy who's work you would want to fake having so many representatives throughout the world for so many years one would be sure to be discovered. Plus his hand was so definite it was almost impossible to copy his brush or pencil strokes.He painted so fast and with such precision that his work is unmistakable.

  4. From: Ronald Ashe, Ashe Auctioneers, Inc., Friday, June 26. There is some question as to whether this print is "genuine" or "fake." The painting/gouache (matrix) image from which the print is derived is genuine. It was painted by Picasso in late May/Summer of 1901. Please see Online Picasso Project number OPP.01:226 ( Other references to this gouache are DB.VI:7; P.I:672; Z.I:56. The print itself appears to have been created using a silkscreen or pochoir method; it does not appear to have been photo-mechanically reproduced. The signature is Picasso's, but it is clearly part of the matrix, not added after the printing of the print. Who created the print, when, where, and why are uncertain. To the best of our knowledge, the print is not found in any of the standard catalogue raisonnes of Picasso's prints. Based on the paper, the printing, and the wear, our example appears to have some age, perhaps 50-75 years. Unless the print itself is proven at a later date to have been created by Picasso himself, or under his supervision, or with his approval, in our opinion it should be catalogued as "after" Picasso, rather than as "a" Picasso. We offered another example of this print in earlier sales (correctly catalogued as "after Picasso") with an incorrect title ("Fencer") and date, which we derived from another unrelated, unaffiliated auction house. Based on our recent research, we have revised our description, substantially reduced our estimates, and rescinded the earlier sale of this print, refunding the entire purchase price to the purchaser.

  5. I'm glad to get some clarification of this situation. I have purchased several items from Ashe Auctioneers and am very satisfied. It's a shame that this item was posted in the first place, especially since many people don't read subsequent comments, like this one.

  6. I am interested to read these posts. I've been searching for information about this for a while. I have one (and I love it) which I have had for about 5 years. I bought it from an antiques dealer and it definitely has age to it! It appears to be a guauche on a sandpaper-type paper. On the upper right hand corner is a small handwritten number in pencil 89952 - on the sandpaper. It is mounted on a heavier paper and has a stamp on the bottom - on the sandpaper: " Raymond (can't read middle section of stamp) Publishers ". I would love to know more about it. The size of the print (inner measurements) is 15" by 22". It has the Picasso 'signature at the top left.

  7. Dear Anonymous, thanks for the comment. The stamp sounds really interesting and may help in getting to the bottom of the mystery. If you don't mind, would you please send a photo of the stamp to me, and I will post it on the blog. Anyone else with similar information that may help us in getting to the bottom of the pieces origins, please send an email to delivery_failure at yahoo dot com.


  8. Thanks everybody else as well for your comments and information.

    Ronald Ashe above mentioned that the original work by Picasso is in the on-line Picasso catalogue. The following step by step instructions will assist in locating it: i) navigate to ii) click the Artworks link at the top of page iii) click search iv) in keywords field enter OPP.01:226 v) in the drop down next to 'in' change from 'French Title' to 'OPP Catalog'.

    This shows that there is an original piece that was done by Picasso. Now we just need to find the origins of the 'prints' that are in circulation. Any help is appreciated!


  9. Hi Strindberg -- Anonymous, here. I tried to send you photos of the stamp, but the address you listed above seems to be invalid: delivery_invalid at yahoo dot com. Can you give me your e-mail address again?


  10. Hi,

    The my email is delivery_failure @, but without the spaces on either side of the @ sign.


  11. oops, sorry - just sent those photos to you!

  12. I too have one of these pictures. On the back there is a Label that says:
    VP520. Picasso:
    White Clown, 18x24
    I have pictures if your interested.

    The picture was supposed to have been given to my mother in law in the 1940 or 1950's. She is deceased and I don't know any more details except that Picasso was supposed to have given it to her.


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I also have one of these. I paid over $700 and I love it also, but it is disintegrating. It feels almost like an old thin rag now. The best news I have heard is that Picasso was suppose to have given your mother-in law this piece. Wow! The person I purchased it from in an auction, said he found it in aside the tube of a poster that he bought in Paris to take back with him to the states on his return form the war or being in Europe while in the service. He sent it to me rolled up as he said he didn't think much about it until others told him they believed it was a genuine PIcasso. It doesn't look fake to me and never has. Sothegy's sent an answer that that is is a gouache and something else, but I haven;'t located the letter since I had it stored and haven't had the time. She said that they were floating around ebay, and that it was only worth whatever someone wanted to pay for decoration, but finding this site has given me a new hope or should say I just would hate for Picasso to lose credit for this because I just know that it is his work. I have a huge book on his work and I did not ever find this one. However, the Rose Period was form 1904 to 1906, and that is when he did these kinds of clown, harlequin's. Just because it has green from the 50's and 50's, doesn't mean that it isn't faded. Also, I do not know that the brown paper is was always brown. I believe it is possible that the paper turned brown with age and the elements. Gee, I just love that your mother in law was given this by Picasso himself. And yes, he was a hot blooded hot tempered man, who deserves credit for all his work. Thank all of you who offered new information, because I have always loved this but wondered if I would be able to keep in tact. I will definetly be checking back at this site.

  13. well, I have looked at a few more, one at an estate sale and one in an antique mall both had sold tags on them.... and have caught up with the comments here...I still maintain that Picasso finished these pictures,I mean he colored them by hand over which might be a simple litho of the clown on that odd,thin tan paper,almost tissue thin, and signed the top left corner.Every single signature is slightly different but the same, as if you signed you own name ten times in a row, same but a little different.And the green gouache is identical in color on each one and he highlighted each one with the white and black a little different as well. Also the red lips,some are bolder than others, mine are very subtle and when I see the really red ones it's kind of startliong.I just don't understand why these are such mysteries. I have been living with mine for about 5 years and it just grows on you,it is very elegant and is unmistakably Picasso, there is no other hand quite like that.If it was "fake" there would be a solid record of lawsuits brought ny Picasso, like I said before, after reading his Biography this is one guy you certainly did not want to cross.

  14. I just again want to mention that in a book published in New York by Doubleday in 1961 about Norman Rockwell there is a large color photo of him in his studio with the Picasso in question hanging right on his wall. The photo was taken in 1961 when Picasso was most certainly alive. It is highly unlikely that Mr Rockwell would hang something of dubious authenticity on his studio wall where he also recieved many famous people to sit for portraits plus famous visitors as well. I think we now know for sure that this is something genuine, I think it was authorized by Picasso if not finished by him as a special limited edition.

  15. John from Tennessee here

    To add to Jackflash59's post above one can see the image mentioned at the Norman Rockwell Museum website:

    thanks JackF

    1. Dear JackF, I have gone to the site to see the Picasso and I did not find it. Can you elaborate on where that is located? I have looked around the site at nrm and not found it. Thank you so much. yes, I went to page 34. Thanks, Donna

    2. I found it by looking up the book and viewing images. The image is exactly the same as mine on brown paper. Very sharp eye JackF!!!

  16. So far I have to think that this is the most interesting part of the search process....I had always hoped to see it in an old book about Picasso in the same setting, you know with a whole bunch of his stuff hanging there and stacked on the floor but seeing it,in the exact same colors and pose in Rockwells studio accomplishes about the same thing.As for how these images were actually laid on the paper and mounted I still think we need to find someone who can show the process as it was done way back then, there must be some record of it somewhere now that we have shown it to be an authentic image.After all, this is a very old image from one of his very early paintings and considering how prolific he was one shouldn't be surprised if he had a hands on part in the process.Also ,that all the signatures are the same but just a "bit" different as are things like the red lips and how mush of the reddish paper shows through at the outlines,I haven't seen two that are the same yet.

  17. everyone should check the sight out that john from tennesee mentions, got a pretty good close up of it in the panorama view.

  18. YES you did big time I believe it was an original mass produced print.
    PS: Freeman is a lier (avoid these fake authenticators)

  19. I have what I believe is a trade poster of "White Clown" that appears to be from the 1950s or 60s. The process used was heavy silk screening over an equally heavy posterboard, measuring 24" x 18". The pigments are surprisingly rich, giving the appearance of a quality gouache or maybe even acrylic or oil. It is hard to tell as the surface has a queer plastic feel to it, perhaps from some sort of commercial treatment. The screen used does show a definite herringbone pattern.

    Markings are the expected "Picasso" signature in the upper left, with a black ink stamp on the center of the back that reads:

    VP520. PICASSO "White Clown"

    I purchased the poster a few years ago, more as a curiosity than anything else, as a favor to a dealer with whom I had done previous business. He called it a "watercolor," and stated that it belonged to his brother, who had purchased it from among the estate holdings of a woman on the East Coast. I tucked it away and completely forgot about it until only recently. I've decided to place the poster for sale, so if anyone is interested in seeing the images I have posted of, they can be found on (until or if it sales, of course).


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. John from Tennessee

    Just a note refering to Linda T.'s very interesting post above. Regarding the herring bone patern which has lead to these objects being considered as screen prints.

    I beleive the hering bone patern is part of the paper itself and not induced by a screen.

    The example I own had been glued to a thicker piece of cardboard which I was able to remove without damaging the work.

    Upon examination it is apparent that the herring bone patern is apparent on the back of the work as well as the front.

    Having touched the pigment it seemed quite thick not at all like what I would expect screenprint inks to be.

    More like a very thick watercolor a gouache.

    From the image you posted at iOffer your example appears to have been coated possibly varnished - mine does not have a plastic feeling or look to it at all - queer or otherwise.

    Thank you very much for posting Linda every bit of information helps quite a bit.

  21. Hi I just bought this print at a yard sale for 5.oo came from a thrift store that was in buisness for 10 years in the art district of long beach ca.The picture is in a frame that you have to unscrew to get to the picture.I dont want to mess it up.The paint or ink looks like it is rasied or has a thinkness to it.There is no pencil signiture .There is sun damage the outline of the picture or the line of the matt.

  22. I am still puzzled by the variation in each of these, it's not that much but it definately id there.I still have not seen to that are the same....almost for sure nut not the same. What I mean is that every single other picasso limited edition has the same exact signature,ect... mayne a variable pencil signature but the print, litho, what have you is identicle.Not so with these.

  23. Hi,I own one of these aquatints.It is frames and kept out of the light. The model can be found on ARTWORK OF 1901-ON LINE PICASSO PROJECT. THE PICTURE IS ON PAGE 4 AND SAYS "PIERROT,PARIS(late may-summer)1901.33by79cm.Gouche(OIC)private collection,parisFormanly Etinne Bignou Collection,Paris." MY OPINION-certainly not a ppiece an avid collector would add to his collection.MY ADVICE-hang on to them,they will eventually be authenticated. Thomas

  24. From John in Tennessee
    Perhaps it might be in order to make a few observations regarding the Pierrot or White Clown as described within the Picasso Project Pages.
    As has been noted previously the work is dated 1901 and is described as a gouache [OIC} 33 x 19 cm.
    My first observation is that 33 X 19 cm is not very big at all. In the much more user friendly English system that is about 13 inches by 7.5 inches. This seems an odd and rather small size particularly for a gouache. My example measures at about 23 inches by 16 inches and one wonders whether 23 by 16 inches may be the correct size for the projects example in their catalogue?
    If the original data were given in inches instead of cm it does not seem difficult for this dyslexic to believe that 23 may have been written as 33 and that 16 may have been written as 19. I do it all the time and in fact had to go back and correct the numbers I wrote here.
    Try drawing out a rectangle 13 inches high by 7.5 inches wide – it is a very awkward shape.
    Further unless [OIC] refers to the base material it is not clear as to whether the work illustrated on the Project's pages is on paper, canvas, cardboard or spider web. Most of the gouaches in the Projects catalogue done in 1900-01-02 were done on paper one seems to have been done on canvas.
    The image in the catalogue is also a bit odd – is the work pictured truly black, white, and grey, or is the image an old black and white photograph digitalized? Of the four gouaches in the Project’s catalogue for 1901 the other three show colors. The image does not appear to be of very high resolution.
    Is it possible that the “white Clowns” we are discussing are much more similar to the 1901 Pierrot then would first appear?

  25. All of this information helps and has been useful. I collected mine in '73. Tried years to find out more info and this is very exciting. Thanks for all your research. I am releasing my due time.

  26. I have one of these and I know little about Picasso. I am certain that I bought this at an estate auction. The lady was in her late 80's and it was in a pile of artwork that her mother had painted late in her life. Mine is painted on canvas and it is yellow with age. It is lightly glued to a black cardboard that is a bit larger than the picture. When I pulled it back to photograph the canvas back of the picture it was lighter where the cardboard had faded somewhat. I was told that Picasso painted 75 of these for a benefit. Who knows. I will say that I think it is ugly.

    1. "I was told that Picasso painted 75 of these for a benefit" I have one and that is what I have been thinking it could raise money for something....I think it is charming, sweet piece

  27. no. 2 post I got my photos out and it is not the same picture as the one posted here, although it is certainly the same subject. One would think that they are all alike, unless they are compared to each other. My question is...does anyone else have one painted on canvas?

  28. John from Tennessee
    A bit more regarding the artwork itself.

    After all we get so involved in the question of whether this is an authentic Picasso - whatever that means considering how the man liked to copy his own work - so much that perhaps we forget the image itself.

    What is the white clown? Or what is the Pierrot, or small pierrot as it has been called?

    The Pierrot is from late 19th century theater the lovelorn clown forever doomed to unrequited love. A plain white fool who inevitable looses his hearts affection to the favor of the more colorful harlequin.

    But there is a more sinister aspect to the white clown, those red lips.

    For the Pierrot is an ancient figure an archetype.

    Those bloody red lips, the Pierrot is thought by some to be a shamanic figure from the Caucuses from as much as four thousand years ago - where the shaman's lips were cut from him by the tribe that depended on his magic. Forever marking the man to his calling to his life to his tribe.

    Why such a drastic figure why then why 1901?

    If one looks at the magnificent picasso project online one sees that this image was created late May-Summer of 1901. It was February of 1901 when Picasso's friend Carlos Casagemas shot himself to death. A death that many attribute to be the beginning of Picasso's blue period. A period where figures of melancholy ruled Picasso's canvases and papers.

    Our clown the object of so much of our angst to prove or disprove origins is not only a figure of melancholy and tragedy with his lips so red, but if one carefully steps through the images on the Picasso project year by year one by one, well it seems to this observer that the white clown is the first of those tragic images of the blue period that Picasso placed on paper or canvas, or cardboard or ply-board or whatever backing he could find in his poverty.

    Picasso of course knew of the Pierrot of the theater, did he know of the clowns more ancient and gruesome history?

    Has anyone else noted that the face on the clown is a self portrait? Look a few years hence 1906OPP.06.026 again on the projects website for a more blatant self portrait. Can there be any doubt that the white clowns face is picasso himself save with those bloody red lips – perhaps a tribute to his dead friend?

    A sacrifice of the living to the dead?

    This figure is it the first halting step toward cubism from realism, the first of all the broad strokes of emotion placed on whatever medium upon whatever backdrop the first of the blue period? It seems a bridge between the classical youthful Picasso and all the other Picassos.

    Look, at the images year by year one by one.

    Is it any wonder that the original if that is what it is was kept so close and hidden that it is seemingly unknown to the appraisers and curators?

    Whatever the truth to the attribution of these images it is worth something to stop for a moment and consider where this image belongs, what the image means.

    Perhaps that to is a clue?

    1. Your post is very interesting..I enjoyed reading it!

  29. so I looked at all that are out there, one on ebay, one on some other "sell" place, the ones here, a few that were sent to me on my own email and I sent photos of mine out as well....anyway, what gives? There just are not two that are the same. EVERY single one is different.I think I am more puzzled by that then I am about the Picasso connection. The green color is the same,the reddish colored paper is the same but the way it is all put on the paper is well as the signature. I mean how in the world could every "print" be different? The idea that every set up was changed when printing is mind boggling, that would be harder than if he,or an assistant, hand did every single one.So in the end, I still maintain that these are all hand done, some perhaps by him,some,if not most, by assistants...and since every signature is slightly different, well, what are we to make of that?

    1. I think the white and green are either silk screen or a block print and the black and red is painted by hand.

  30. John from Tennessee here,

    Just a couple notes:

    Rockwell admired Picasso and visited in the 1920s. Just the right time to have obtained one of these items. Google rockwell Picasso.

    The Rockwell museum descibes the wall art in Rockwell's studio as reproductions. But then again they might be just as confused as everyone else.

    Note might be able to obtain another clown cheap.

    As to the diffeneces observed I to have noticed this - it is possible with some printing methods such as the sugar lift aquatint that the plates degrde quite rapidly.

    This might acount for the differences observed - but I tend to expect that each item was at least to some extent hand done as the differences are sometimes quite extreem.

    So much so that one wonders if we are dealing with two seperate populations?

    I also wonder just how many are out there? So far I have counted twelve individual examples.

  31. I too have this piece. I acquired it at an estate sale for $90. It is in really good condition and on the back it is stamped
    VP520 Picasso
    White Clown, 18X24
    I have been trying to find information forever on this piece because I just feel that there is something very special about it. The art authenticator near the top of this screen who was questioning if it was a Picasso or P. casso ,etc. Mine clearly states Picasso. The letter i is very clear. I also have noticed that the line that underlines the word Picasso is different in the pictures of the ones that I have seen if you examine it closely. This is a very mysterious piece and I can't wait to find out more. I am glad to have found this blog.

    1. Mine is on Canvas and does not have the "VP"

  32. John in Tennessee

    Those red red lips

    Still trying to get down to the truth of these objects.

    I forget which poster noted how haunting his example had become but living with one is certainly an experience. Everyday one sees a new and different piece of art. More twists and turns more items the artist wanted someone to see – eventually. Sort of what one would expect from a masterpiece I suppose.

    Has anyone else seen the naked lady hidden in this art or in some examples I should say?

    Recently I've focused on those red red lips that I mentioned in an earlier post - those gross representations I have supposed of a more primitive human time if one can call our time of predator drones that deliver death by remote control more primitive then that of the caucuses tribes that cut the lips off their shamans to - what - claim them forever theirs? - but I digress.

    If Picasso had his blue period that struck him so deeply after the death of Casemass then one must note that there is a bridge between his period of realism and the blue period a transition shown in the images presented on the picasso project from 1900-1901 many of which have those very red red lips.

    Look at “The Abseneth Drinker 1901” , “Woman in Blue Hat” 1901, “La Moulin de la Galette” 1900 (an explosion of red lipped charmers), “Pierrot y Bailarina” 1900 (where our friend the white clown appears), “Arlequin acodado” 1901, “Mujer ebn azul” 1901, and “El nino con paloma” 1901, and many others,

    Then some time in 1901 when the death of his friend seems to finally “sunk in” those red lips essentially vanish. Oh not completely they make hesitant returns in faded glory “retratro de ogla en un sillion” 1917, and later - but largely such a celebration of bright red inviting lips is absent as in “La Vida” 1903 an image of Casagemas the suicide, and most , almost all others. From 1901 as a rule lips pale as death adorn Picasso's faces.

    Not only do those red lips haunt the pre-suicide artist in joyous abundance but the lips on the white clown are the very same lips as the lips on all the 1900 and 1901 paintings shown in the picasso project website.

    It helps to have a couple quality books with reproductions of the 1900 and 1901 works to hold up to ones own Pierrot or white clown and I do. Sure the oils are a bit diffeent as are the pastels but those lips are the same the very same..

    But one could do much the same comparison on the web.

    Take the image from this site of the Pierrot in my collection and make the comparison to the 1900 and 1901 images in the picasso project website – spooky yes?

    Now look at the green and the gray-blue used in the Picasso white clowns and search those 1900 and 1901 images. Yes you see the very same tones were used by Picasso in 1900 and 1901.

    The very same tones of color. It is almost as if he had run out of the red and the green and gray-blue sometime in 1901.

    Now look at this odd brown paper these works rest upon or is it a cardboard?

    Look at “Casagemas Mort” Sept 1901 use the zoom feature and look at the exposed cardboard. Familiar? It should look very muck like that material our white clowns rest upon.

    Now go to the “Pierrot” itself and use the zoom feature. I am not mistaken that one can see the pattern of the board itself in this image?

    Now wander through the images from 1900- 1901 look for the greens look for the whites look for the blue gray and what does one see?

    One sees those very same hues used over and over again by Picasso in 1900 and 1901.

    So what are we to think?

  33. People are creating a mystery where none exists.

    This is a reproduction of a known 1901 Picasso. The medium is either silkscreen or pochoir.

    They have no special value. I've seen them in flea markets for years.

    It's amazing how these legends get started.

  34. John from Tennessee here

    Well Anonymous if you did see these in flea markets for years you should have bought them.

    Of the two print experts I've had mine in front of even the one who did not think it authentic said it was a very high quality print and worth about $600. Say he was being generous and cut his estimate in half still pretty good return for flea market prices.

    Of course the other fellow said it was a Picasso from between 1900-1906.

    And the quality of at least the example I have is quite excellent – one of the reasons the owners are not so quick to let go - my item and I expect the others are very well done – much more so than one would expect for a quick knockoff.

    Anyway for those more interested in comparing these items to that which Picasso made in 1900-1901 I suggest a gander at “Les fugitifs” 1901. You will find I think using the zoom on the Picasso Project site a bit of Picasso's work on a brown “cardboard” which shows what appears to be quite the same herringbone pattern as observed in our white clowns. Looks like a very similar medium was used for this work and the Pierrots.

    There are other similar backgrounds but no others are so clear.

    Yes possibly you should have bought those flea market items.

  35. Anonymous of them anyway...said it was a reproduction of a known 1901 picasso and was easily found in flea markets and is of no special worth.Ihe also stated the medium being either silkscreen or pochoir. I would like to suggest that everyone here send in a photo of their picture for comparison.I would be willing to lay wages that there are no two exactly the same. Unless they are the slightly bigger prints done on a heavy posterboard, what I am thinking of here are the ones done on that reddish paper .No two of those are identical, they are all different.THAT is what I want explained , how was that done exactly.I actually had two of these in front of a art dealer slash expert and proceeded to argue for 20 minutes with her over the differences until her husband took my side.She did not concede, she only shut up. Obvious difference she just shooed away as meaningless,like I was blind and stupid as well. it was the strangest argument I ever had. At the end she still could not explain the medium involved in the making of them.

  36. Either pochoir or silkscreen can produce very different results using different elements in the printing process.

    This print is not an authentic Picasso. Just a reproduction.

    However I understand from long experience how doggedly some people will stick to their belief that they have a valuable work of art even when they don't.

    I've seen some amazing examples of this phenomenon, where people have spent thousands of dollar in pursuit of proofs that don't exist.

    So be it. People have the right to dream.

  37. Just wanted to clarify what I intended what I intended to say in my prior post:

    You can utilize the same pochoir stencil (or same silk screen) and produce different prints from it that will differ markedly in appearance.

    In this case, we don't even know whether or not there may have been two or more entirely different screens or stencils used over time by one or more different printers.

    There are multiple possibilities for how, where and when these were made.

    At one time producing Picasso knock-off images was a major international industry.

    All we can say for certain: these prints were not made by Pablo Picasso. No chance. No way. End of story.

  38. John from Tennessee here

    Um anymouse how can you say for certain “we” know these “prints” were not made by Picasso?

    And who is this “we” you speak of?

    I was trained as a paleontologist a subject which depends heavily on comparative anatomy.

    From the viewpoint of comparative anatomy the object in my possession looks very much like a 1900-1901 work of Picasso.

    The colors, brush stroke, subject, and quality of the work. The signature is quite right as is the subject.

    Are not these the clues a disinterested expert would utilize?

    Have I not provided examples for comparison? Please instruct me on how this item is dissimilar. Or how my comparisons are just wrong.

    But you do nothing of the sort, but simply make a declaration.

    Am I wrong about the paper or cardboard?

    Are the reds, greens, whites, and gray-blues not just what Picasso was using in 1901?

    Please do come down from Olympus, and make an argument and not a simple declaration.

  39. As I said, you have the right to dream.

  40. John FRom Tennessee Here

    Here is a bit more info regarding the “White Clown” (Pierrot) that Norman Rockwell had hanging in his studio. This is from a New Your Times Article dated April 2, 2009 “At Rockwell's Studio a moment Preserved” by Carol Kino.

    "Beyond the easel, propped on a shelf, is a spare selection of the prints he was then using for inspiration: a copy of Bruegel’s “Blind Leading the Blind,” for its massing of figures; a Vermeer street scene; two Canaletto cityscapes; and an original Picasso “Pierrot” print, whose clarity and simplicity he hoped to emulate. Above his head hangs a golden angel holding a paintbrush. “Rockwell always said he liked the idea of an angel blessing his work,” Ms. Plunkett said."

    Original Picasso “Pierrot” print according to the New York Times.

    The Norman Rockwell Museum has the article posted on its facebook page

  41. Well, I had an inkling I would start a wildfire when I first spotted that tiny green image in the Rockwell book..what I was hoping for is that someone from that period or someone who is an art student would know exactly what the heck these pictures were. ANONYMOUS, the one with the grudge against these pictices, said that silk screens can produce different results each time. I'v done silk screens and they're pretty consistent unless you use different inks or make other changes.I mean look at Warhol's silkscreens,very consistent from one to the other even after lots of use. I don't think anyone here is trying to say that these pictures were actually done ,one by one by Picasso. At first I was trying to get some/any idea that this was even an image BY Picasso. If you all remember ,at first it wasn't even accepted that the image belonged to Picasso, then the image was verified and the arguement became if these pictures were done by Picasso or were just cheap prints/copies of something once available. Then I found the Rockwell photo and it became obvious that it had to be something a bit more than a simple dimestore print, so the question were these produced and by whom? And when? Are they as old as the actual painting they represent,are they art works in their own right,say like a Kandinsky litho or a warhol silkscreen? Should they just be dismissed without further insight? Why? Why do some people find this discussion so offensive and threatening? I have lots of other art but this picture is the one that right now I find the most interesting,simply because it can get peoples gander up. Actually, it is doing exactly what art is supposed to do, Picasso would be proud of us. Anyway, my point is that for this picture to hang in such a public place as Rockwll's studio it has to have some "provenence" , for those of us that have the picture and have seen the photo we know that it is exactly the same, save for subtle differences. That green is unique to that image.So ,the question still begs an answer, what gives?

  42. John from Tennessee Here

    Maybe it is time to list just what we know or can be shown about these objects.

    The art itself was created by Picasso a gouache on ? In 1901. From the Picasso Project Website.

    Norman Rockwell owned one and prominently displayed same in his studio in 1961.
    The New York Times published an article calling the object an original Picasso print.
    The museum in its own literature calls the object and the other art objects in Rockwell's studio reproductions. Of course prints are by definition reproductions.

    Norman Rockwell admired Picasso and visited Picasso and the faves around 1920.

    The brown paper or cardboard on which the art rests is visually very similar to various objects of Picasso's art produced in 1900-1901. From the Picasso Project website

    The individual colors used are very similar to Picasso's work in 1900-1901. Compare to works 1900-1901 Picasso Project website.

    The signature “in-block” if that is what it is consistent with Picasso's 1901 signature.

    Some of these objects are signed in pencil and some in thin brush. Both signatures appear to be Picasso's.

    Some owners have family histories claiming that the art is from Picasso.

    The art is not a simple industrial copy, the “print” is of the very highest quality.

    Some experts in the field have declared the work to be authentic.

    Some experts in the field have called the work to be fake.

    Each work is different some quite different.

    Some appear to be very well done others not so much.

    Some of the objects have a stamp “Raymond and Raymond” which is either a seller of reproductions and or one of two art galleries whether New York or San Fransisco. Note that some verified prints sold by Raymond and Raymond show a copyright mark and a printed Raymond and Raymond quite unlike the Stamp.

    Others have no mark whatsoever.

    Someone says their mother bought two for gifts in the 60s and was to cheap to have bought decent art. So they are fakes.

    And a number of critics who have basically said they can't be because well they can't.

    Did I forget anything?

  43. Has anyone researched whether his family members had copies of his work made after his death? This is not uncommon of other artists.

    Also, is is just me or is "cardboard" a strange medium for something like this? Most mass-produced images that I know of were done on a thinner-bond paper. Even the old stuff. I'm certainly no expert though.

    Has anyone spoken to his estate? Some lawyer somewhere is in charge of things like this. He might have some answers.

    Thanks for having this blog and to everyone who posts (especially John in Tennesee). My parents have one and this is a fun mystery!

    1. These were not made after his death - I've had one since 1959.

  44. it wasn't made after his death, the photo in the Rockwell book dates from 1961, he was only about 70 then and still making women crazy.And it's not cardboard , the ones that I have actually seen are done on a thin red colored paper that has an odd texture, mine is mounted on masonite that has been dated from the 30's, the frame is from the 50's. I have seen one mounted on artist board like an etching. I even saw one rolled up in a tube an the same thin paper.There were also some that were bigger and on cardboard and very obviously one dimensional prints. That's not what we are daiscussing here.

  45. JOhn from Tennessee


    With al due respect,

    While I agree that these are not on what we would call cardboard 2009 what did they mean by card board 1900?

    The paper is rather stiff like a card.

    I've not been able to acertian this and one notes that a number of Picasso's works 1900-1901 on "cardboard" have the weave that is so noticable on these objects and in my opinion responsible for the classification as screen-prints.

    The brown paper is stiff as in card - that these object are original prints seems more and more clear - are they from 1901?

    From teh colors and the style those lips agian I tend to think they are - at least these on the brown "paper" ort is it "carton" card-board?

    1. Mine is like the Norman Rockwell image. I would more call it "craft paper" rather than card board. It looks like what a fish house or butcher wrap. Also has a shadow stripe or pattern to it.

  46. Well, mine is mounted on masonite and masonite was common as far back as the teens...anyway, a bit at the corner is peeling a little and the edge is this very thin, reddish paper, it shows through all over the picture as a red, I at first thought it was paint until I noticed that edge and saw the paper raw..Also, when you look at these pay close attention to the signature, every one is just a little bit different.Now that would be hard to do on a litho stone or silk screen unless each one was hand signed.

  47. Gawd, I can't believe people are still going on about this print!

    Take it to Sotheby's or Christie's--or a museum such as MoMA, NYC (which has a world renowned print department).

    Any of them will tell you it's a worthless repro in a New York minute.

    Of course, if you did that, you couldn't continue the fantasy on a chatboard.

    No, wait a minute. Then you'd say these experts don't know what they're talking about!

  48. I did take it to both Sotheby's and L.Hinman where nobody could identify the image as a Picasso image but agreed that the picture,at least mine, appeared to be either completely hand done or hand finished, and that the signature was right on and extremely well done but of course it couldn't be a real signature since nobody had ever seen the image. One of them call the Art Institute(Chicago) and they never heard of the White Clown.. They thought it was probably something made a long time ago to look like a Picasso picture and sold to unsuspecting dolts,such as myself I guess. They also are the ones who dated my masonite mounting board from before world war 2. This was a few years ago, before I ever suspected there were more out there, I work flea markets and estate sales and had never seen one until the one I bought...for 10-20 bucks and mostly for the frame. Taking it apart it becomes very obvious that this is not a print, looking close one can see how the colors were laid down, Sotheby's said with a wide brush and even though my label said gouche they thought it was tempra, an even cheaper type of paint and black watered down india ink. They both agreed it was a excellent rendition of something but of what they did not have a clue. That's why they called it fake but they wouldn't say forgery cause a forgery is an exact copy of a real item meant to deceive and if it was they had every right to confiscate it. They had no idea that it was an actual ,existing image by Picasso. So much for the world renowned print dept. They were clueless.As I am as well....even though we now know it is an actual image nobody has yet figured out what it is...and it isn't a print, put two side by side and examine it for pixels or dots or silk mesh marks and they just aren't there.Plus the signatures ,while the same hand, are slightly different. And obviously slightly different, even you would see it. Anyway, why the hell is this bugging you so much, all the other blogs are full of idiots opinionating about war,politics, health care,global warming and how much Sarah Palin's shoes are worth on ebay. This is way more fun, no name calling, no swearing,everyone seems un-American.

  49. John from Tennessee Here

    Well said jackflash.

    One of the reasons the owners will not let this alone is that these objects are anything but a cheap reproductions.

    Anyone who has seen one of these up close in meat space could not mistake it for a cheap knockoff.

    It would at least be nice for the critics to acknowledge that we are not fools and this is no mere mass produced print.

    And how many are out there? I've seen maybe twelve different images on the web, one of my experts the one who said it was authentic guessed there were maybe twenty in existence.

    The other fellow like your experts admitted that the “print” was of the most excellent nature and expertly done.

    If this were massed produced there would be hundreds out there, or even thousands.

    They would be cheap.

    No I think you right these are all hand done.

    They look hand done.

    If these be fraud someone must have been familiar with a rather obscure work by Picasso. They must have been excellent artist themselves. And apparently until just recently no one has tried to sell one of these as a valuable Picasso and if one discounts the Swiss Gallery no one has tried to pass these off for more than about $400 that I know off.

    Odd sort of fraud. Some are signed some are of what sort of Fraud would do that?

    The colors are quite right for 1900-1901 who would know that, before the internet? and we know these objects date back to 1950 if not before so we are postulating a fraud with access to all the worlds great museums.

    A fraud who could mimic Picasso's brush, style, and signature, and who then did not try to cash in by passing his fakes off. And oh yes he found a brown paper with the same herringbone pattern that Picasso used in his days of poverty in 1900-1901.

    No Jackflash all evidence suggest that you have something.

  50. John from Tennessee here.

    Just a thought - but if Rockwell who visited Picasso in the 1920s had one of these objects in his collection - what about Picasso's other friends and peers?

    I've pocked about Gertrude Stein's collection and not found anything but what about the rest of Picasso's friends?

    I've got this notion that maybe these objects were Picasso's first sugar lift aquatints? Possibly visitors like Rockwell were given one as a souvenir.

    Just a thought – but what about other collections of Picasso's contemporaries?

    Maybe we can find some more?

    1. Here is the Rockwell photo of his studio...if it was such a fake, why would a world renown artist such as Rockwell display it in his studio? I have one and mine is on some kind of canvas-paper ....but mine was purchased in 1953 very close to where he lived in Paris...

  51. I bough one on ebay for £99.00 on November 7, 2009

    I am an artist with a good knowledge of printing; art history who has worked in the conservation and Interpretation departments of Tate Britain

    My print is a five colour screen print on a redish card the card has some age. It is very slightly different to the examples shown on this blog. I would say that the slight differences between them is due to the screen being placed by sight, as i would if I was being lazy and wasn't worried about how neat it looked.

    From reading the posts I feel that this is an old fake that is having a second go of it. I could fake this image very easily the variations i imagine exist to enable the forgers to keep slipping them into the market.

    it is lovely print, and the quality is good but i would be exceptional surprised if is not a fake. enjoy it for what it is....

    Johanna UK

  52. John from Tenessee

    Johanaue please do replicate this object I wuld love to see the results.

  53. Johanna, I think your post is well stated. Just to say, however, that it is something of a misnomer to call this print a fake. It was never made to pass as an authentic Picasso. Instead, it is a legitimate reproduction of an early Picasso. There have indeed been some unscrupulous or unknowing sellers trying to suggest that it is something more.

  54. I just went on "UOFFER" ,a web based sales site like ebay where one of our commentors has her picture for sale. And there it is, same as mine except it is different. Hers has a heavy varnish over it but still,the colors and the image are the same but the variations are just incredible, so my question still de do dat?

  55. i've got one too; at least 50 years old and, like everyone else, it has always made me wonder where it came from. Very unusal. Any buyers?

  56. John from Tennessee here

    Billy any details as in how do you know its at least 50 years old for instance?


  57. I thought I would share this story that JUST happened. I saw this ink drawing on ebay:

    1. The bottom of the "drawing" clearly ends in a straight line - as if he stopped drawing the grass using a straight edge.

    2. The signature in the bottom right hand corner is clearly not Picasso (see the "P").

    3. I own the original of this piece, and this is an EXACT duplicate. I started to worry that mine might be a "fake" also, but it is clearly ink on paper (ink will "bleed" through paper, but not through cardboard - and this piece is on cardboard, which hides this fact). Also, my piece has a second pencil signature, but it is identical to the ink signature.

    While I cannot be 100% sure that mine is real (even though I have authenticity by a highly regarded gallery that I purchased it from, I suppose anything is possible), this one is CLEARLY a fake, and CLEARLY made as a copy of the ink drawing that I have.

    I would love to know more info on this subject.

  58. I have a clown in white that I found and bought from an estate sale in the east coast about 6 plus years ago. I feel in love with the image and paid $3 and had it framed. I have been looking for the original ever since.

    The image I have appears to be done in gauche. I say gauch because when I touched the image some of the colors flaked off. The background is a thick brown paper with no other markings other than a Picasso signature on upper right hand of the image.

    Great postings and to know that mine is not alone. Real or fake I love the one I have.


  59. it is signed in the upper is not on thick paper and the paint will not flake off,it tends to only come off it iy is rubbed. there are no even lines on it,i mean it doesn't border in an even line,mine almost goes to the edge and it is not linear.

  60. I recently purchased one at an online estate auction a few months ago. I bought it because I like the image and didn't even consider it being a real Picasso. The brown sheet that mine was printed on has been slighlty altered and cut down to an odd size (off kilter). I'm heading to the local frame shop in the next week to have it framed and put up with the some other harlequin prints and paintings I won. I love it. I paid $22 US for it. So, that's my $.02. Love the blog BTW. A great idea!

  61. The studio picture is now located at

  62. I have what looks to be an original print or lithograph with Picasso signature in upper left corner. It looks to be a white Harlequin on green background. The paper is heavy brown textured with a water mark Canson & Montgolfier , France. It is well framed. My mother acquired this as a gift from a President of a large California company in the late 70's. Also of intrest, the image is visible in an old Katharine Hepburn movie called Undercurrent (1946).

  63. John from Tennessee here

    High anonymous thank you for posting this pushes the possible origin of these objects or at least some of them back quite a bit.

    If one showed up in a 1946 movie we can then reasonably deduce that the image was produced before 1941 given war time priorities for printing and production. Further as it seems to have originated in France we can further deduce a date before 1939 as France was in a state of war with Germany as of 1939 .

    This of course puts the image in Picasso's prime making the theory of a knockoff rather weak as the man was apparently quite active in protecting his images.

    I've not been able to discern a watermark on any of the examples I've "harvested" from the web it would help to understand if you might describe the watermark. My own work has some indiscriminate marks within the weave but it is hard to discern a water mark otherwise you seem to describe the very same paper or cardboard that most of these objects are produced upon.

    On another note it is quite clear that on my example the signature on the upper left is placed over the green background and not with it as an en-block signature would be expected to appear.

    On another note I had the privilege of touring the Cincinnati Art Museum and seeing Picasso's Head of a woman oil on canvass - I know I am biased as an owner of one of these object but of the life of me I cannot see the artist of the work in the museum as having been made bay a different brush from the work that rests above my right shoulder at this moment.

  64. we have the same one and we have doen reasearch and learnd that picasso was a funny painter at one point he painted with 1 or 2 colors becuase he couldnt afford diffrent colors and also he was very experimental he tried screen painting himself to make multiple copies of his paintings and keep all of them as the origionals the real value on those paintings they will cost millions if we could find those screens however everyprint that he makes is a good as anyone i would not sell my copy for less than 20,000

  65. When buying art, any art, NEVER allow the selling gallery to authenticate or place a value on your piece. ALWAYS get the best 3rd parties impartial opinion. Seek out the committee or body best known to do the authentication.
    A reputable gallery will ALWAYS take the piece back and refund your money if there is ANY question regarding it's origin.
    Expect to pay and wait. The opinion of the pro's will insure the "saleability" of the piece in the future.

  66. The stories surrounding this work are doing excatly waht art is supposed to do, causing oneanothers opinions and convections to disscussed. As someone else on this page said it is what Picasso would have wanted.
    Having said that I too am an owner of one of these works. after careful study of the work itself and researching all I can possibly find on the internet I have pieced together a story which I will stand by as the truth until an authorotattive source can convince me otherwise This seems most probable. I will site Occams razor, "The principal that two entities should not be multiplied needlessly; The simpliest of the two competing theories is to be prefferd."
    My understanding is that Picasso was hired by an art gallery owner in Zurich in 1901 to attend an opening. At this opening he was to produce a painting which the guests could whach him paint and then take home as a gift. of course in 1901 Picasso was just another near hobo artist and not known to the guests.
    This explination gives me the ONLY viable reason for the existance of so many orignal Picasso's. And it also explains why my painting varies in many small details from the ones I have found on-line.
    Why on Earth the United States is so Blessed to have at least 4 or 5, mine included is a mystery except perhaps because of our immagrant nation.
    I have seen a charcoal sketch of the same figure on the offical Picasso site which also authinticates my position as artist were and are know to sketch a work before actually painting it. Thus that would be the only likeness Picasso had of his work since the others were given as gifts.

  67. Please forgive me for failing to explain that my painting has the stamp on the reverse, vp520 "picasso' 18x24 and nothing else. There are no stamps from gallaries or signatures other than the, Picasso which appears on the upper left hand corner and varies slightly from painting to painting much as my signature would if I were to write it 250 times.


  68. juan jose caro paresApril 1, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    We have one for more than 60 years, my father visited Paris in the earlies 50, bought it, and really dont know if this work is a picasso or not, we hope

  69. John from Tennessee here,

    I have been pondering both the brown paper that these objects are upon and the VP250 marking that appears on the back of some of the white clowns but not others.

    This is speculation but there is an old (140 years) European Paper company Voith Paper. Could the VP250 stand for Voith Paper 250 grams per square meter?

    If so the paper is possibly brown kraftliner from which cardboard boxes are made or rather were made?

    Such paper would come in rather wide rolls and whether or not the VP250 identifier was on the back of a white clown would depend on where the particular sheet was cut from a roll.

    If this is true the implications are interesting.


      Mine is on canvas

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. Yes, our family has one as well. It was in with my grandfather's things - he was an amatuer collector of art and lived in Chicago. We have been frustrated trying to find out more about our little white clown.

  71. Greetings,

    My family has a white clown print in our possession as well. The print has been located in my parents home for over 30 years and was given them by another relative prior to that.

    It wasn't until today that I finally stumbled across this blog and could identify the print. It has always been a major curiosity of mine.

    It has been in a frame the entire time it has been in our possession and this morning I popped the back off the frame to do further investigating.

    There is no text imprinted on the back such as the VP250 and no markings indicating Raymond and Raymond as others have stated.

    The piece of cardboard on the back of the frame appears to have been cut down from a cardboard shipping box with the following information printed on the label:

    Charles Bruning Company, Inc.
    3522 Polk Ave, Houston 3 Texas

    Tamm Blueprinting & Supply
    216 E Van Buren
    Harlingen TX

    Through researching on Google I discovered that Tamm Blueprinting was located at 216 E Van Buren from 1948 to 1960ish when Tamm retired. There are no zip codes on the address label which went into use in 1963 so this print was framed anywhere from 1948 to 1963. It shows definite signs of having been rolled prior to framing.

    I found the fact that there was a shipping label located on the back of the cardboard fairly unique and hope it may help identify the production period for these pieces.

  72. I have one to & until today have never been able to find much info a out it. I was given the art by a lady who is now in her 80's. She states she bought it in Paris many years ago. It looks to have been framed in 1958. She states she thinks she was in her 20's when she bought it. I really wish we know what the value of it is? I love it & would only sell it for a good amount of money. What can we do to authinticate ?

  73. Go to . Those guys have helped me many times and they have never been wrong. Good Luck

  74. We have one of these paintings as well. It was something that my grandparents had around the house and no one has ever thought anything of it. Recently we had someone come in to appraise some of their household items and the person who came in and looked at everything was caught by the painting and looked at it. They were convinced that this was an authentic painting.
    I will have to look at the back of the photo to see if there is any of these markings that have been mentioned. It is so interesting that there are so many of these around. Does anyone else have any new information?

  75. I sent pictures of mine to and have not had any response.

  76. John from Tennessee here,

    Am I misremembering or has Freemanart somewhat changed their appraisal that all these Pierrots are fakes?

  77. Kan IK U Schrijven in Nederlands? IK OOK EEN Heb eën Witte clown in Mijn Bezit .

  78. I also have this litho. inherited it in 1956 , just came from heritage auction house in dallas they said it was a lithograph

    1. Toman, I also live in dallas. I have one on canvas of some kind. please reply back to me and let me know if we can meet and compare.

  79. Yet Another Anonymous

    My grand parents had one. I am the executor of their estate and I am trying to find it. My grandfather fought in France in WWI and I believe he brought it back from there. My grandmother use to say to me..."This is a real Picasso." She said "It's called The Clown" and then she'd look at the back and and say "The proof is here." I guess there was something written on the back. It hung in the guest room. I remember it as a child. It was kind of haunting. Wish me luck in tracking it down.

  80. I have one (in the original frame) that was authenticated at the Art Institute of Chicago, curator of the XX Century Painting & Sculpture back in 1976. It's a pochoir done in the 1920's by a commercial art reproduction company in Paris. It looks slightly different than most of the photos I've seen on the Internet.

  81. i have one 2...ive always wondered abt it cause in the middle the white paint is chipping a little...and there is paint in sum spots that r thicker then others...i dont know anything abt prints...especially if its paint on a textured paper with layered strokes

  82. I too have one, the size of which is roughly 19"X24". It is in excellent condition, signed in the upper left corner and is well-mounted on some sort of board. The background brown paper appears thin and has a herringbone design. I don't see any watermarks or stamps but these might have been destroyed when the print was mounted. The green background and cream/white clown are remarkably well preserved inspite of 60 years of poor framing and cheap glass. The technique, whether it be gouache or silkscreen has withstood time well. If this is a reproduction it was certainly painstakenly done and is of high quality.

    The piece was purchased by my mother sometime in the late 40s or early 50s and was always referred to as a "poster" as I was growing up. My sister and I were going to toss it when we cleaned out our mother's estate but I decided to keep it for sentimental reasons. When I recently took it to be reframed I was able to appreciate the true beauty of it. I've enjoyed reading the blog, and the mystery surrounding this piece only heightens the fun of owning it. I honestly could care less if it is worth anything on the market, it reminds me of my mother and of my childhood. For these reasons alone I will keep and cherish it.

    Laurie, Washington DC

  83. I have had one since 2006 bought it from an estate sale. Getting it authenticated in Jan. at bonhams...I will keep you posted on what I find out.

  84. We received ours yesterday from my father-in-law. It was purchased in NYC Thanksgiving weekend in 1951 while they were on their honeymoon. My father-in-law said that it was purchased at MOMA and that they rolled it up and brought it home. I have enjoyed reading about the white clown and the theatre connection. My husband is an actor and director (as well as his mother, father and step-mother) We will cherish our White Clown whether it is authentic or fake.
    Measure for Measure

  85. I have one as well, thin orangey textured paper, darkened on the edges, with some pencil markings on the top left corner of the front that at one point were cut off, leaving a 4, with what looks like a the butt end of a 2 next to an 0. seeing as some have been marked VP520, 18x24- this could have been what it said in pencil... Like mentioned above it is slightly different than the rest. My husband is an artist... went to a high end art school, he paints, and he says that the white of the clown, and the black string was put down first by gouache... it looks "sponged" on. The green was put down next in vertical overlapping strokes so that the green is darker in some areas, and that the gouached-on black of the string, under the green, turned brown looking. The green overlaps the edges of the white in some spots, but not others, and the top of my hat- when the gouache was laid down, was cut off. it's not rounded. it's flat. like the tip-top didn't get transferred to the paper. my collar was drawn in green with one clean stroke of the brush. It is a much finer stroke than I have seen on any other versions, which look sloppy in comparison. Assuming that Ashe auction does not have one picture for all three of it's white clowns (if they did take only one photo and place it on all three of the one's they have in stock...shame on them) then theirs suggests that there are prints containing the criss crossed paint at the collar- which would be a useful dead-giveaway if you were curious as to whether you have a print, or a rapid one off by picasso, or even one of the raymond and raymond reproductions. But it appears R and R had marked theirs clearly. Mine does not have this raymond and raymond mark. My lips are cherry bright red, though the paint is translucent like the green paint and you can see the white sponged on texture underneath, the eyes and hair appear to have been added on top as well, though My husband says it looks as if he almost made a "stamp" for these... the black is not solid and consistent. My signature looks painted on- there is a little bit of black that got caught on the peaks of the textured paper as the brush moved. Supporting this 'signed last, by hand" theory- there is also a reversed picasso signature on the back of mine! Not at all in the same spot as the signature on the top left front. The signatures are near identical- but not quite. It's as if it were lain haphazardly atop a another freshly signed copy. There is a random smudge of black paint, and a random smudge of green as well on the back. These other smudges do not correspond to any feature of the design.

    The ask art discussion states that he made 1500 of these for a gallery in France in order to rapidly make money to retreat from the war.

    If this is true, it is no suprise that there are multiple copies that are slightly different from one another. It would also not surprise me that one signature was not dry before the other was laid atop it- if he truly was working rapidly.

    husband says there is no way mine is a lithograph or print. If it is a forgery they went to the effort to try and recreate what he originally did: work rapidly- adding final details to a pre-laid down gouache of black and white.

    My mother is an antique dealer, and she purchased it for 75 dollars from another dealer who didn't make any assumptions as to what it was. I was a very troubled teenager, with lots of depression, I left home at 15. She bought it because I was gone from her, and every time she looked at it she saw me, it really does look just like me... As soon as I was married in a house she brought it to me. I don't much care what it's worth. Someday my mom will pass, and every time I look at it I will see her... therefore, it is priceless.

  86. Ha! The artist husband yelled at me... gouache is what was done OVER the black and white...quick-drying matte paint... lithograph is what the black and white is. That is why it looks sponged on- because it was transferred from flat surface in one fail swoop. Ha! I am a scientist! not an artist! Cheers to all.

  87. That is interesting! I have one as well. A local appraiser (not sure her background) said she thought it was a gouache worth about $500-600??

  88. I own Picasso's "Le Perriot" also. My mother bought it in the early 1950's at what she called a "dime store". She also owned an original M. Soyer 1952.

    When moving, sadly the slightly frosted glass in the frame of the Picasso was broken. Fortunately, it did not damage the work, but that is when I realized the painting was done on a board watermarked with Prescott Quality Boards. I also realized that this piece was truly a painting. Once again, as above, gouche or some kind of acrylic wash. I've been told it's a litho. It is signed in what could have been painted in a different kind of paint. It actually resembles a modern "Sharpie". But, as above has the Picasso signature at the top left.

    I'm wondering if anyone here can tell me how to obtain a true, honest, trustworthy appraisal for these two works, as I am needing, sadly, to sell them.

    Please feel free to respond to my email or at this site, I will definitely check back. Thank you for making this site. It has taught me much about the work. I hate to part with it, as I love it, and love "Dancers at rest", by Soyer.

    Thank you for any help you can give me in this. I appreciate your help. God bless.

  89. i have a white clown Picasso and can't find anyone to tell me if it worth anything someone pls help

  90. hi, all, i have a white clown i just had redone while retaining the original frame, museum glass acid free papers etc, when the framer redid the work i examined the back and there was no vp250, the kraft like paper is a herringbone pattern effect when paint was applied and the paint has adhered well, the framer commented that it was cut a little crooked and it looked like it had been done with scizzors. i bought this from a dealer who inherited it from his late uncle, also an art dealer, and he believes it to be totally authentic. i have a couple pics if i knew how to post them...if any would like to share, my email is

  91. I just got one as a gift from a friend. I plan on having it carbon dated by a local firm here in Miami, Fl. as it is a very reliable form of determining the age if it is less than 150 years. I will let science do the first step prior to my getting it authenticated by an expert. If Norman Rockwell has one hanging in his museum office with the same color scheme than I believe that Picasso did do a series of this painting. I just bought another copy via E-Bay and will have that one also carbon dated as soon as it arrives. If anyone would liek to exchange digital copies of theirs I would be happy to send digital copies of mine. Armando del Portillo

  92. My Mom has had her copy since the mid '50's and before she died told me, "Hold on to this. It is very valuable." That was her gut feeling about it - not based on fact. HOWEVER, after reading the string of comments over the last couple of years, I become more and more intrigued by the broad range of possible values. Look forward to Anonymous posting of June 18th as to the carbon dating.

  93. My husband got one last week at an estate sale. I hated to remove the frame, but did to see if there were any markings and there were none. Mine sounds pretty much like a lot of yours...measuring about 20' x 26'. I am dying to know more. The only marking was on the back of a framing company in Dallas TX and looked to be framed in the fifties.

  94. My white clown has no markings on the back except 18x25-1/2. The green background appears much different, more olive green than the ones I've seen posted. The lips are pale red. The frame has been without glass ever since I acquired it in 1967. I've always wondered about it and loved it, never thinking it was anything more than a poster, so thank you all for this information. I'm going to take much better care of it in the future.

  95. I have one too...have had it for over 12yrs...bought at an antique shop and no one could tell me whether or not it's authentice. mine, as well, was behind another picture! If someone finds something out, please keep us all posted! :)

  96. is a scam website owned and run by John Re, who specializes in selling fake works by Picasso.

  97. I have one that I will send photos of. I got it from an estate sale where the woman who was having the sale was the daughter of the woman who died. She told me the entire story of it.... it had hung on that wall and had not been moved since they first arrive home with it in 1953 or 1954 from a trip to Brussels, Belgium. Her French-immigrant parents were importers and had traveled all over the world....they also LOVED art!! They had gone to an opening in Brussels of Picasso's when he was there and was selling a few prints that were explained as some sort of gauche prints. He was signing many of them for an extra price in pencil...but her parents had paid so much for a print that they did not pay the extra money...they were just honored to have seen him in real life. They had it framed in Belgium and brought it home to Dallas later that year in 1953-1954 sometime and it had hung there ever since. When I took it off the wall, I could immediately tell that she was not lying by the lighter colored spot on the wall that the removed painting had made. LOL! She had said that there were papers of authenticity in an envelope that she had seen at one point when she was young, that were from the gallery, but the prints were sold unframed and her parents forgot to attach the letter of authenticity to the back when it was framed and now she is sure that they were lost over the years. Both I, and the daughter, did not see any marking on the back of it....until I got home....I found a small stamp in 3 different places on the paper on the back. I can hardly make it out, but they all look like they say "Made in Belgium"!!..the paper is super fragile and you can see by my photos that I send you, that I accidentally punched holes in the the paper in the back. My print looks as though it might be on canvas....but I can not tell. I will send as many photos as I can for you to decide.

    1. Quick note: The lady had no reason to lie to me, and sold it to me for $60...she was not trying to make some kind of "profit" from it being a Picasso. She just told me the story that she had heard from her parents.

  98. i have a white clown i want to know if is real or fake the frame is very old


  99. I too have one. My grandmother purchased it in the mid 1950s I had reframed/ is on brown paper. Any thoughts?

  100. I live in Holland and I also have got one of these clowns. I absolutely love it. I find it strange that there is so little information about this work. only this blog site. The one site from professor in the states has taken the picture from the web...... In all my picasso books (about 34 old and new) not a word is being mentioned about this so called white clown. these books are in french, german , spanish, english and dutch. So I find it quite a mystery but on the other hand Ive given up hope that this is a real picasso.

  101. Hello:
    Glad I found your website as I own one of these Picasso clown prints and have sought information for years! I bought it at a neighbor's estate sale here in Connecticut. He was selling many items from his aunt's estate--she passed away about 10 years ago and was in her eighties. She was well travelled and had many lovely items...

  102. I acquired on of these "prints" in a thrift store last year. The backing on the frame is very old and the print itself is obviously stacked paint of a serigraph type layering, with hand applied details like the lips and the signature. I also picked up a copy on Etsy, thinking it might be the same. It seems to be a copy on canvas of this "original" serigraph. Why would someone make a copy of a painting that has no value. Also, why would Norman Rockwell have a copy of this in his studio. I have read that he found this particular painting of inspiration because of it's simplicity.


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  105. I inherited one of the white clowns from an Aunt. I first saw it in her home in the early to mid 50's. She bought it from a reputable art studio in the California area. I had it properly framed to protect it. I don't believe it to be a fake. She never purchased fake anything.

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  107. Hello,Glad I found your website as I own one of these Picasso clown prints/gouache/? and have sought information for years! I am from the Netherlands.
    Have you or anyone ask the family Picasso about it?

  108. I got a hold of one as well,and From a woman in her eighties sold it to me for 40 dollars. I talked with a few professors,and art appraisers,and they don't know much about it. I did talk with an art appraiser out of Nevada that had interest,and I'm having it shipped to him for appraisal. I love this painting,and I will spend the money to answer some question on the authenticity.

    Fell free to email me with any questions at

  109. Hi all, I have one also. Back in the 70's my grandmother was somewhat of a antique dealer. Anyway she took care of this old Jewish gentleman and he gave it to her. She had it sitting around the house and I showed some interest in it and she said I could have it. I was only around 10 yrs old. I've had it ever since. To hear it's not worth squat makes me sad. :(

  110. If you look closely at photos of the six versions of the lithograph La Ronde online, you will see slight differences in the edges or corners of the lines for a particular version. Look at the known Picassos. I have a lithograph where the colors are all from the stone except the black, which was done by hand. He may have redrawn on the stone as it wore out. So he definitely has variations from copy to copy.

  111. Hello. I was so thrilled to find this site, and to learn that others out there are as curious about this pierrot as I am. I also have one. I recently rediscovered it in my attic in the course of doing a major clean out. I have had it in my possession since 1965. I purchased it during a time that I was an exchange student in Europe...except unfortunately I can't remember if my purchase was made in Paris, or on a trip to Amsterdam and Utrecht. Either way, it would have been at an outdoor flea market, or open air gallery, as I did not have much money at the time. My print looks exactly like the ones I have seen, with the exception of some small variations in some of the same places, such as mouth, hat, black lines, quantity of brown paper showing, etc. that others have mentioned. My print contains no markings, other than the signature in the upper left hand paper watermarks as to origin of the papermaker, nothing printed on the back. But the descriptions I have read of the paper...thick, brown, rough, with a kind of herringbone pattern to it is the same also. It was so interesting to read here, and then see for myself (online photo) that the same print hung in Norman Rockwell's studio. This certainly is an intriguing mystery. I plan to check on this site from time to time to see if there are any new developments or discoveries as to the origin of this charming print.

  112. Hello. My parents have one of the Small Pierrot Lithograph signed by Picasso. They bought it in Spain. Several art experts had seen it and they were not able to certify if it is a real or a fake. However, they could assure that the paper was from the beginning of the 20’s century. The signature also disconcerted them. As you must know, it is very hard to authenticate a Picasso work of art and it is a pity not being able to show it. That is why my parents are thinking about organizing an exhibit with the Small Pierrot Lithographs. It would be in France, in Paris or Provence. If you are one of the owners and you would be interested to participate, please contact us at

  113. I have one of these prints, bought in around 1959. I am puzzled by the constant use of the word 'fake', which implies an attempt to defraud. Picasso was very much alive in 1959, and it seems unlikely that the very well-known London store (no longer in existence) where I bought my print, would have sold it if there were anything 'dodgy' about it.

  114. I also have one and have been trying for years to find out more information about it. Take a look at the Schonberg Pierrot Lunaire record art sleeve. In the bottom right hand corner it reads, "From a Painting by Picasso."

  115. From The New York Times article, Preserving a Rockwell Era, written about Norman's art studio.

    "and an original Picasso “Pierrot” print, whose clarity and simplicity he hoped to emulate."


  117. I found that Rockwell book a few years back and mentioned here. The record album cover is also of interest. As far as those who insist on using the word 'fake' ,it doesn't apply here. It's not a 'fake' anything,it is merely a black line litho of one of his paintings that he or an assistant quickly colored in adding few embellishments.It is probably hand signed as well on both the top left and ,if it's there, the pencil one at the bottom. It was produced in various editions from the original herringbone paper to cheap poster board print. The originals will have variations in both the color wash and the signature. Being used and sourced on a record album can at the very least attest to the idea that it isn't some sort of forgery, Picasso was very much alive during Rockwell's life and when the album was released and a massive lawsuit would have been enacted by the family demanding damages if Vanguard Records defamed the Picasso legacy in any way. After all,there are plenty of Pierrot images that could have been used. They chose this one and gave it proper credit. As far a I can see,case closed. As for value? Well,there are lots of these out there, it's all depended on supply and demand,right? I own one as well,I figure it,like others done inlarge editions, could /should have a value of about 1500 dollars or so. Depending on if it has one or both signatures and is from that herringbone first edition,like Rockwell's.

  118. Fifth Photo down in the upper left....lawsuit or original ?

  119. And here is a gallery that is in the process of identification.....looks identical to our picture..................

  120. Thanks for posting all the comments on the white clown. I had never seen another until reading this post and it is interesting seeing the differences in the image and signature on the pictures that have been posted. I have one I received from my grandmother and she had obtained it from an older lady in the late 50's. It is on paper, the edges look like they were cut with a razor blade. Back of paper is yellow, no markings, front appears to have brown paint then the green around the white pierott. The framing is old and the back was a cardboard. If anyone would like to see photos for comparison to yours, email me at

  121. Like so many others who have posted here for the last half a dozen years I too have one of these fascinating artworks. I am also rather bemused by Freeman Art who seem to appraise on the pressure of their contemporaries as opposed to fair and direct analysis....
    Catalogue Raison authors have reasons to omit speculative works sometimes to protect the interests of third parties who feel the standard to interfere with an artists reputation. This also happens with appraisers who feel it is easier to deny than to accept a new and perhaps embarrassing conclusion that could affect their own reputation. I feel Freeman Art are playing 'Art Establishment Old School' with this one with their brief and curt dismissal, sitting on their hands and not offering reasons as to why they are not genuine.

  122. I have looked at the many varied and well intentioned reasons for and against on this Blog and while I have yet to conclude my own opinion I do feel the work to have some intrinsic value and merit. I only purchased my own version very recently, in fact this week from a fellow Art Dealer who believed it be a screen print. In my short initial examination I feel this not to be the case although the herringbone pattern could suggest a mesh process as in Serigraphs but the entire surface of my own 'White Clown' has this pattern. I haven't removed the backplate yet but the herringbone is included in the Browny Red Background which would not be the case if only parts were open to the squeegy allowing the screen paint through. I believe it has a base lithograph of the clown outline and the hoop below the left hand. Gouache has been added in a sponging technique on the white and green colours with the black hair, eyes and red lips are added in a final gesture by brush.
    My biggest sticking point is the signature. I am sure that it was never written by Picasso himself it is heavy handed and plodding.
    The very fact there have been no denials from the Picasso family to an artwork that had certainly been around in Picasso's own life time would waver considerably in favour of those purporting it to be genuine and the followers who state Picasso would have made a fuss had he known of it's existence. Some experts say Picasso produced over a Million works in his lifetime, to monitor and respond to all of these would have been something an Armada of staff would have had to keep check The picture in Norman Rockwood's studio and the record cover design based on this very artwork are strong arguments to support the theory. However it does look as if there are quite a few of these 'White Clowns' in existence and while Picasso was generally quite mercenary with his output, the way they are being discovered almost on a daily basis would suggest a very large run possibly amounting to several thousands in order that a couple of hundred could survive over a time period of at least 6o years. This would have been way beyond Picasso's toleration level. He was impulsive, quick tempered and easily bored. He worked at pace and moved from one work onto another rapidly. If the artworks were created before the war Picasso would not have had the resources or inclination to produce a run of this extreme unless an outside or contracted source was involved. If he had there would have been identifiable provenance to back this.
    I can only at this early stage say they were probably produced by an individual with the help of others who possibly had a rapport or at least understanding of Picasso's application and acted with either scant approval of the master on a nod and wink. Maybe a concubine, God knows there enough of them, or a close student with a low boredom ratio under a financial agreement with his mentor.
    After Alberto Giacometti died his brother Diego is said to have struck up many extra unofficial versions of his sculptures by arrangement with a French Foundry and on the approval of his departed brother. Picasso worked alongside several third parties where his ceramics are concerned and merely approved work, certainly in the Post War Years. Picasso may have used some of the artworks himself to earn easy money at Gallery Nights as has been reported. I'll look into this further and keep you all informed.

  123. I just bought this item at a church rummage sale in NJ for $1 and had never seen this before until I found a couple on ebay and one listing mentioned this blog. I have read all of the entries and after examining the one that I own compared to the one at the top of the page, it is remarkable the differences. The lips are different, the signature is only slightly different and the green on mine is lighter with a definite brushstroke look to it. Also to note, the grey string that the clown is playing with is just slightly different than the one above (the way that it is marked). I took this out of the frame and there is a little over an inch border of brown and on the very edges of the paper, there is a line drawn in either pencil or pen where the "cut" of the paper was to happen but it is obvious that it is hand done so it is not perfect. The black of the hair is not faded so I am thinking that this was not in sunlight. I am no art expert but I do find all of the differences that people mention in their posts, something to be of note. It does not appear to be that there are 2 exact prints out there but that each one is unique. Just a thought......

  124. I recently found a copy of the "White Clown" at a local thrift store for $2.00. Curious, I started digging around online for background information on the print which led me to your Blog. And, then after several more searches, to a vintage newspaper advertisement of John Wanamaker's "fine brushstroke reproductions."

    Here's the link where you can view the .pdf copy of "The Herald Statesman, of Yonkers N.Y., dated January 9th, 1963." See,

    Regardless, I like it and and I'm going to frame it and hang it on my wall. Rick Pollard

  125. I just found this painting in our home we purchased thru an estate sale. I never paid any attention to it until I was going to have a yard sale and in moving it around the back peeled off revealing a marriage certificate dated 1884. There was also some kind of death certificate but that was blank except for 1889 in corner.i stsrted looking into this and came across this site. Mine too has the vp520 18x24 on the back. If anyone finds anything out I can be emailed at thanks

  126. Ive been so interested in finding out about this art piece because my dad has a print, hes afraid to open it and see if there is anything in the back. Ive been reading through this blog and other websites for hours. Im wondering if anyone who was in the original posts from back in 2009/2010, if you guys had any luck, or if the other people who kept hitting dead ends with authenticating if you guys ever got a reliable on? Through the years has anyone heard anything else? Received an appraisal? Sold it? Anything?
    Thanks guys and gals
    any info,
    from California

  127. Not so far Cynthia I posted back in April haven't come up with anymore although the post from the chap refering to Joe Wanamakers brushstroke reproductions of certain paintings including the White Clown is very interesting. They sold at $1.99 and the newspaper advertisement looked like it was from the post war years ....I just fee;l I can try to sell until I have more information I paid £100 ($140) for it.

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  129. I have one that is on canvas, with no markings on the back. Does anyone have any opinion on this being more "authentic" than the ones printed on paper?

    1. I also have one on canvas with no markings on the back...purchased in Europe

  130. Hello all! I happened upon one of these as I was looking at estate sales online. I saw a picture of one and after some research, it led me to this site. I decided I'd make the 4 hour round trip down to see if I could win it at auction. I did and purchased it for $35!!

    Before I purchased, I did some image searching and came across one that an art dealer - PJG & Associates - had on their website, here:

    The gentleman I spoke to was very kind and informed me that he was currently in the process of "authentification (as they call it in Europe)" on his piece with the Picasso family. That got me pretty excited.

    My copy is framed and has brown paper covering the back of the frame that I'm hesitant to crack open to see what is on the back of my copy. I think I will wait and see what Philip J. Giusto comes up with on his end with the Picasso family before I open it up. As for the work itself, I would say mine also has subtle but obvious differences as well as compared to other pieces I've seen. It is obviously pretty old and I wanted to get my copy at an estate sale, rather then eBay or something like that, to eliminate the possiblity of a "fake." I feel pretty luck to have gotten my copy in this way and for the price.

    Real or fake, I think these pieces are worth picking up just for the story and the excitement they have caused. Even if they end up being fake, they make for a real converasation piece!

  131. Just wanted to add, here is the estate sale that I attended. The pic of my White Clown is about 3/4 of the page down, on the right.

    1. Have you heard any news back

  132. I just picked up one of these at an Estate Sale this weekend. It is on fibreboard not paper and the frame seems to have some age since there are worm holes throughout.

    This is where I might be able to add something to the conversation.

    My example has a label on the back. The label has the artist Name Picasso; Title Harlequins (yes plural) and the number 6855. The label has a red border and in the lower left corner has the initials N.Y.G.S. which I belive, represents the New York Graphic Society. This entity has been around for over 75 years which is listed on their web site which put them in existance in the mid to late 30's.

    I was not able to research my piece on their site, they look to be more interested in selling now not showing what they may have had in their past. There is no way to e-mail this site so I may have to send a letter to find more information as to when this may have been offered to the public.

    As a final note there is also a price written in pencil on the back of the piece which is $114.95. the individual that owned this was said to have purshased all of his artwork from a gallery.

    I am hopeful that at some time to find how these came about and since there are several mediums that is it found in adds to the interest.

    Joel in TX

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  134. Here's another! A customer brought one in today. Has owned it since the early '60s. I put a loupe on it, and saw the pattern of a silk screen. There are seven different colors laid down. On brown paper, with no marks on the back. Condition is pretty good - no tears, little fading. It has not seen light for many years. The Picasso signature was also screened. Because of the age and media, I'd put the value between $500 and $1500.

  135. The brown paper white clowns were produced by Raymond and Raymond of NY in the 1960's there are a lot of them out their.

    1. Including those which do not have the Raymond and Raymond stamp?

  136. Hi all,

    mine has also brown paper. pls see pics of the 'signature' and the backpaper.

    i did not take it out of the frame yet... the little paper is on the backside of the frame.

    any thoughts would be appreciated.

    1. Can you please send more photos of your print to compare with the piece I have in my collection? My email is

    2. replied :-)

  137. hello, dear friend im from south america , argentina , and i hope mi information wil crear something abouth this paintings , or guaches , i have in mi posetion on of this clowns, but mine have an inscription of picasso hand righting and dated 1956 in the back, it has what we call dedicatoria "para mi amigo XXX" ( i dont put the name in ested y uses xxx), mi grand father who keps the painting for himself for several years told me that he both it in auction in the midles 70 ths, and that this painting was from the personal collection of piccasso and was given as a gift , sorry for the wrighting, regards.

  138. Hola amigo , te hablo desde sudamerica, argentina, estoy poniendo esto tambien en español por si alguien entiende y se pueda explicar mejor, tengo actualmente en mi poder uno de estos payasos de picasso y la historia que se me conto al respecto es : que picasso regalo en el año 1956 a un amigo personal dicha pintura (guache ), y la dedico en el reverso, la dedicatoria dice "para mi amigo ------ . picasso y fechado . dia mes y año, el año es 1956, cierta informacion me la guardo por razones de seguridad, como fecha exacta y nombre del amigo a quien picasso se lo regalo, pero puedo decir que la firma de picasso de 1956 ( en el reverso) coincide con ese periodo 1950 y no con la firma que tiene la pintura que era de 1900 aprox, es comun que picasso firmara atras las dedicatorias y es obvio que las firmas son de diferentes periodos, Se me comento tambien que dicha pintura era de la coleccion privada de picasso, picasso no vendia todas sus obras ya que se quedaba con una gran parte de sus cuadros y trabajos para si mismo, espero esto sirva de algo en la busqueda de la verdad y de poner luz en todo esto , creo que hay varios trabajos dando vueltas algunos seran verdaderos otros replicas, sera cuestion de ver cada una que es , abrazo desde argentina.

  139. I also have one, not a print, and just very small differences from all the others. Not differences that would have been made by printing. Is John from Tennessee still checking this board? Jerry from Kentucky

  140. John from Tennessee

    Every now and then Jerry from Kentucky - have not had anythign to add though.

  141. My brothers and I found one of these prints among my father's (who recently passed away) things in South Florida. None of us recall having seen it before, so we don't know from where he acquired it, or how old it is. It is, like all the other examples, slightly different from all the rest. Ours has some blue accents, which I have not seen on any other example. There are no stamps, and it is on the herringbone paper referenced by most posters. I will attach several high resolution photos to an email to follow. I, like everyone else, would like to get an idea of how valuable this really is.

  142. After reading this blog yet again, checking for any and all new information, I can only add that I also have one of these prints. It was obtained from a local thrift store here in Georgia; it was unframed and was part of a lot of art supplies (mostly frames) as well as a couple of large pieces of original art that had come in as a group of items being donated. The back of my print is marked/stamped in red ink, "VP520. Picasso: White Clown, 18x24." Because this print is not now framed, though it could have been in the past, it has been exposed to the environment. The lower right-hand corner on the back side has been bumped, now exposing different "layers." The back sheet which has the red marking mentioned above is a separate sheet of thin paper which is starting to peel at the corner from the multi-layered sheet of hard board or cardboard that the painting is applied to. The painting itself looks and feels like it could be canvas. There is a small area where it has separated from the hardboard/cardboard but a residual of the hardboard/cardboard is still attached. The hardboard/cardboard, as I said, is multi-layered; I've counted at least seven distinguishable layers to its composition. The painting is very similar to the ones discussed here in terms of colors, herringbone texture. I'll leave the "art medium" info to ones who have more knowledge. I think some of these prints could have perhaps lost the thin piece paper which still exists on mine and which carries the stamped information. I enjoy coming back to this blog site occasionally ... because every time I do, I spend way more time than I planned riding this emotionally-charged roller coaster. I'm optimistic and feel, from ALL I'm reading, there's reason to stay optimistic.

  143. I have a print of this painting....and I want to know how much it is worth...Really, I don;t care because I only paid $5 bucks for it at Goodwill. Hee-hee!!!

  144. I have a Raymnd & Raymond of Klee's "Man on a Wire", 1942. If you would like to see it:

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  147. My Picasso came from a garage sale recently. It holds true to the comments made about the paper (brown) and the "likely" usual Picasso signature in the upper left (non-cursive "s" and distinctive "i"). The non-descript frame seemed to suggest something that has little value. Because it has a cardboard backing to keep the work itself in place, I decided to remove it this morning. A couple things about the work itself, then a comment about the backing that may add to someone's detective work for origination of these (seemingly plentiful) works.
    1) When I hold up the paper into bright light, the shadows of the artwork are outlined.
    2) the black "C" curl close to the left heel bleeds through the paper. Nothing else does, making me wonder if this is a result of screen printing or a heavier hand with the paint. Just an observation so far.

    Re: the backing. I found an inscription on the backing. Not related to this painting. It seems this was framed (inferring this but cannot make it a logical connection) in the Tampa Art Center (WPA). The backing says the photo the backing originally correlated to is the property of the 'Florida Art Project' (again, not the art we're talking about...only the backing I have that comes with it). This may be a piece of art thrown into a frame with this spare backing during the middle years of the Great Depression (1934 - 1943). Alone, this piece then has me looking to the Florida area for some history. I don't know if I'll find anything. However, I've noticed that several others have found similar works in Georgia & Florida, with at least one claiming it came from their grandparent's collection. Does this place the artwork as copies made during the Depression? In the South? Does it suggest that originals from earlier (whether screen printed or rapid-drawn) had been obtained by a local / regional WPA then simply framed or sold? Don't know.
    Just thought I'd share a few things I've uncovered so far.

  148. I to have acquired a WHITE CLOWN/PIERROT in Miami at an art dealers shop in 2005. it is framed with a press board matt. I have not taken it out of the frame to look for any stamp or pencil signature. i will probably do so soon and i will update my post if i find anything relevant or interesting. He said the previous owner was a wealthy Cuban who lived in Cuba and immigrated.He did not have and facts to back it up.
    He made no claim as to its authenticity.
    I took a infrared image of the piece and the paint seems to be uniform and the black signature paint appears to be the same as the black hair.. the red lips do not show up..I paid 800 in trade and cash.

  149. I have one of these as well, a relative obtained it decades ago. It definitely seems to be paint on a textured medium but hard to tell through the glass and sealed back. Check out the images. I'd definitely like to get it appraised to see what we've got.

  150. I have a print also and have had other Picasso prints , I believe it is a real print. Picasso didn't always use the best paper or paint, it is now known he even used house paint to paint with . I paint myself and use every paint imaginable, I am no Picasso but I have painted and exhibited for the likes of President Obama. Thomas Rose

    1. I too have a print of this "Picasso" clown print that I found in the garbage in my building probably after cleaning out an apartment whose occupant passed away. How do you go about getting it appraised and/or selling it if its authentic?

  151. For what it's worth. I have one of these. It is in the background all of my baby pictures on through teen years in my parents home. My mother bought it in 1954 in a local department store... same year as my birth and sure enough it appears on the wall behind the sofa in my "coming home" from the hospital pics the same year Real or not, it is one of my favorite possessions.

  152. I have a White Clown also. Has anybody found anything else about the authenticity of the painting.

  153. I was going to bring my Picasso "White Clown" to PBS's Antiques Roadshow Orlando 6-18-16.
    I'm glad I didn't.
    These where sold in the 50's-60's by the 1000's for $1.98 each, all over the US.
    If it is stamped on the back VP520 is a a reproduction. Mine is not stamped, but is a framed repro with a label from a still operating Ft Lauderdale, FL Art Gallery.
    One "Art Gallery" is selling a Renoir stamped VP1097 "Girl at Piano" as Lady at the piano for $25,000.
    Google- Picasso VP520 look at images, lots of newspapers from across the county had ads with a long list of these "brush stroke masterpieces".
    Sorry, hope you didn't quit your job.
    Luckily I paid $10-20 for it.

  154. In these photographs, the characteristically neat Rockwell is at work, sitting in a Windsor chair with a paintbrush in hand and a pipe in his mouth, his easel and standing palette positioned by the window.
    Beyond the easel, propped on a shelf, is a spare selection of the prints he was then using for inspiration: a copy of Bruegel’s “Blind Leading the Blind,” for its massing of figures; a Vermeer street scene; two Canaletto cityscapes; and an original Picasso “Pierrot” print, whose clarity and simplicity he hoped to emulate. Above his head hangs a golden angel holding a paintbrush. “Rockwell always said he liked the idea of an angel blessing his work,” Ms. Plunkett said.
    New York Times web page

  155. I spoke with one of Rockwell's sons and he stated his father would not of owned a fake print or painting and used Picasso along with other well known artists for inspiration. Thanks

  156. Randall,from Paducah,My.August 1, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    I too own a"White Clown",in a 50's frame.Mine has a reversed signature in the hat,and is also signed top left like most others.If it's a fake,it's a good one!!!