04 December 2015

Picasso, anecdotal evidence of a tough player

Luis Buñel writes in his clever memoir a story about the young Picasso on the verge of stardom.

On one occasion the Catalonian ceramist Artigas, one of his (Picasso's) close friends
went to Barcelona in 1934 with an art dealer to see Picasso's mother. She invited them to lunch, and during the meal, she told them that there was a trunk in the attic filled with drawings that her son had done when he was very young. When she took them upstairs and showed them the work, the dealer made an offer which she accepted, and he brought about thirty drawings back to Paris. When the exhibition opened in a gallery in St. Germain-des-Prés, Picasso arrived and went from drawing to drawing, reminiscing over each one and was clearly moved. Yet the minute he left, he went straight to the Police and denounced both Artigas and the dealer. Artigas had his photo in the newspaper under the headline "International Crook!"

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