Executed in 1901.
signed Picasso and dated AÑO 1901 (lower left)
coloured crayons on card
32.8 by 38cm.
12 7/8 by 14 7/8 in.
Washington, D.C., The National Gallery of Art, Picasso. The Early Years, 1892-1906, 1997, no. 50, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Alexandre Cirici-Pellicer, Picasso avant Picasso, Geneva, 1950, illustrated
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso. Supplément aux volumes 1 à 5, Paris, 1954, vol. 6, no. 342, illustrated pl. 42 (titled Picasso arrivant à Paris avec son ami Casagemas)
Jaime Sabartès, Picasso, documents iconographiques, Geneva, 1954, no. 62, illustrated
Roland Penrose, Portrait of Picasso, London, 1956, no. 40, illustrated p. 25
Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work, London, 1958, mentioned p. 67
Pierre Daix, Georges Boudaille and Joan Rosselet, Picasso 1900-1906. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Neuchâtel, 1966, no. D.IV.12, illustrated p. 149
Josep Palau i Fabre, Picasso Vivo (1881-1907), Barcelona, 1980, no. 566, illustrated p. 228
John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, London, 1991, vol. I, illustrated p. 193
Junyer Vidal, Barcelona
Heinz Berggruen, Paris (1963)
O'Hana Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in December 1963
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In the autumn of 1900 Picasso first travelled to Paris with Carles Casagemas. Having gone back to his native Spain for several months, he returned to Paris in May 1901, this time in the company of his friend Jaume Andreu Bonsons. The present work, depicting the two young artists on a quay in Paris, the Eiffel Tower visible in the background, is probably one of the first works Picasso executed on his arrival. He moved into the studio at 130ter Boulevard de Clichy, previously occupied by Casagemas, who had committed suicide in February of that year. Picasso shared the studio (fig. 1) with his first dealer Pere Mañach, occupying the larger of the two rooms, which served as both his bedroom and a studio. During his first stay in Paris they signed a two-year contract providing the artist with a monthly income of 150 francs in exchange for a proportion of his works. It was Mañach who persuaded Ambroise Vollard to organise the first exhibition of Picasso's works in Paris, which opened at the end of June 1901. The first few weeks of Picasso's stay in Paris were spent in a frantic artistic activity in preparation for the show.
Writing about Picasso's trip to the metropolis, John Richardson observed: 'For the second trip to Paris, none of Picasso's closest friends was free to accompany him: Casagemas was dead, Pallarès back in Horta, and Sabartès not yet ready to leave Barcelona. And as he disliked travelling alone, he had to look around for a new companion, preferably one with means. In Jaume Andreu Bonsons - a friend of Casagemas's and an habitué of Els Quatre Gats - he found someone more or less suitable. Prosperous parents were paying for young Andreu to go to Paris and study art. A sketch that Picasso did immediately after their arrival [the present work] shows Andreu, hearty, bearded, pipe-smoking, clutching a Gladstone bag; Picasso defiant-looking in his big black turkey-breeder's hat, muffled up against apparently unseasonable weather - it was mid-May (not March, as Sabartès says) - carrying a portfolio' (J. Richardson, op. cit., p. 193). Executed during this crucial period as Picasso embraced the revolutionary developments taking place in the Parisian artistic circles, Picasso arrivant à Paris is not only an important link in the maturing of his own art, but also a unique insight into Picasso's early life.