Poor Couple in a CaféMan and Woman in a Café other

  • Artist: Pablo Picasso
  • Creation date: 1903
  • Object type: Painting


A woman and a man sit hunched over a table in a gloomy interior. Their countenance and body language indicate resignation. The woman, seemingly wrapped up in a blanket, gazes toward us with unfocused eyes, her pale face looking bright amidst the murky surroundings.

The man sits closely next to her: his dark eyes peer down and away, and his face seems heavily scarred. He seems to be holding the woman with his left arm, while his right arm rests heavily on the table, with a hand that is small in proportion to the rest of his body. On the table in front of the couple are a shot glass and a carafe.

The painting belongs to Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period from 1901 to 1904, so called because of the bluish hues that characterize his pictures. His works from this period typically depict poor, desperate people on the fringes of society, such as drunks, prostitutes, and beggars. Picasso’s ensuing Pink Period would feature gayer subject matter and warmer colours. His art is typified by his constant changes in style and theme, which in turn is partly explained by his sense of experimentation.

Picasso was born in Spain, but moved permanently to France in 1904.

Text: Nina Denney Ness

From "Highlights. Art from Antiquity to 1945", Nasjonalmuseet 2014, ISBN 978-82-8154-088-0


Pablo Picasso


Born 1881 in Malaga, death 1973 in Mougins

Work info

Creation date:
Other titles:
Ménage de Pauvres (FRE)
De fattiges måltid (NOR)
Det enkle måltid (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Olje på lerret
  • Width: 65.6 cm
  • Height: 81.8 cm
  • Depth: 3 cm
Motif - type:
Gift from the Friends of the National Gallery 1917, accessioned 1918
Inventory no.:
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Høstland, Børre
© Picasso, Pablo/BONO

"Poor Couple in a Café, Man and Woman in a Café" relates to: