Executed in Barcelona in 1899-1900.
signed P. Ruiz Picasso (upper left)
watercolour, pen and brush and ink and coloured crayons on paper
17 by 11.4cm.
6 5/8 by 4 1/2 in.
London, Arts Council of Great Britain, Homage to Barcelona: The City and its Art 1888-1936, 1985, no. 190
Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Picasso i Els 4 Gats, 1995, no. 15, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Pierre Daix, Georges Boudaille and Joan Rosselet, Picasso 1900-1906. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Neuchâtel, 1966, no. I.16, illustrated p. 111
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso. Supplément aux années 1892-1902, Paris, 1969, vol. 21, no. 102, illustrated pl. 42
O'Hana Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in December 1963
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Born María de los Dolores, Lola was Picasso's younger sister who served as his model from the artist's earliest drawings and sketches he executed as a teenager. His depictions of her are always affectionate, emphasising her Andalusian features. As during his years at art school Picasso drew from casts, more often than from life, his first models were members of his immediate family, primarily his father José Ruiz Blasco, whom Picasso often painted and drew throughout the 1890s. Marilyn McCully observed:
'Picasso's sister Lola served as his other principal model up to the time of his first visit to Paris in late 1900. The fact that he drew and painted her so often allowed him to experiment with his approach to the female figure, in this case always clothed. (The models at art school were generally male, and it was not until he reached Paris that he had ready access to female nude models.) Lola sometimes appears as a distant and enigmatic young girl with her doll, sometimes as a typically Andalusian maja. Other portraits of her reflect Picasso's response to the contemporary Catalan modernista movement: in some paintings she appears in diaphanous whites, while in others she is seated in the vague light of Symbolist-inspired modernista interiors. His personal adaptation of a fashionable, fin-de-siècle graphic style also gives Lola an air of modern sophistication in his portraits of her (M. McCully, 'To Fall "Like a Fly into the Trap of Picasso's Stare": Portraiture in the Early Work', in Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation, London, 1996, p. 228).