Of the 30 collages Picasso made, only a handful remain with private owners, The Guardian reported.
It shows a stylised glass and bottle standing on a table, in a medium seen as revolutionary in the early 20th century. It was made using charcoal, ink and pencil and stencilled lettering, but the bottle was cut from samples of a French newspaper, Le Journal, dated December 12, 1912.
Picasso’s experiments in collage, most using newspaper cuttings, were influenced by works made in late 1912 by his friend and cubist pioneer George Braque.
Simon Groom, director of the Gallery of Modern Art, said it was a stunning acquisition – “the kind of work that any of the world’s great museums would love to have.”
“In this small group of newspaper collages Picasso turned centuries of tradition upside down, and the reverberations are still being felt in the art of today. Together with the drawing we acquired last year, a collage from 1913, and a painting of the same period, we now have a superb collection of Picasso’s cubist work,” Groom added.
The collage had been in a private collection in Sweden for more than 40 years. It was acquired by the gallery through an auction.