A photo-certificate from Maya Widmaier Picasso dated Paris, 29 January 2001 accompanies this drawing.
In 1913 Picasso enriched the new pictorial language of Cubism by radically altering the traditional conception of the picture plane. He worked out his ideas in three formats: through his easel painting, his use of papiers collés with drawing, and the fabrication of constructions and flat sculptures. His progress in one area would become the impetus for similar developments in the others; despite the abundance and novelty of his ideas Picasso maintained remarkable logic, unity and consistency in the evolution of his Cubist style.
The present drawing is one of a group of studies related to the flat sculpture Guitare et bouteille de Bass, executed in Paris during the autumn of 1913 (Zervos, vol. 2**, no. 575; coll. Musée Picasso, Paris). The sculpture was fabricated from cut pieces of pine, papiers collés, nails, paint and charcoal. The present work similarly displays the outline of the guitar's body and table on the right side. The guitar's fretted neck is visible at the top of both compositions. The bottle of Bass beer, seen in the lower part of the sculpture, is larger and placed at upper left in the study. Common to both works is the tilted prominent white shape denoting a piece of sheet music, whose trimmed contours reveal the influence of the artist's papiers collés.
Three related studies which also have brown-shaded backgrounds are in the collection of the Musée Picasso (Zervos, vol. 28, nos. 345-347) as well as numerous pencil studies (Zervos, vol. 28, nos. 181-189).