Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter. sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. His early success led to the establishment of 'Cubism', one of his major contributions to the art world. Picasso had two wives and several children and it was well known that he also had many mistresses, often his models.
Picasso was an extremely prolific artist and was known to have produced over 50,000 works of art. The work of art that I am discussing in this article is Pablo Picasso's Portrait of Madame Patri. Picasso was going through his 'cubism' period at the time and the pencil drawing was done in Biarritz where he and his new wife Olga Khokhlova were spending their honeymoon, following their marriage on July 12th 1918. Madame Patri was an acquaintence of Eugenia Errazuriz who's villa the newlyweds were staying in. Whilst there Picasso began a series of drawings depicting the wealthy and attractive women of the area. In this drawing we see a lady looking totally relaxed yet also very regal. As she sits upright in the brocade chair with her head up and her posture fairly formal, she looks very much as we would expect a real lady to be. She is indeed very attractive and her demeanor tells us that this lady is no street urchin but a lady of class. She looks very much at home posing for her portrait and it is no surprise to know that she features in several other works, albeit less highly finished, that Picasso also did at this time. It is interesting to note that the brocade chair in which his subject was sitting for this sketch is also seen in some of Picasso's other works from this time, including a very well known painting of Mme Margot Rossenberg and her daughter Mitcheline, the Rossenberg's known to Picasso through their prominence in the art world.
Picasso's works of art are known and admired the world over but for me seeing this relatively simple pencil drawing of Madame Patri shows Picasso at his best, and the skill of the artist, and it is a shame that the original is no longer on display for everyone to enjoy, but is now part of a private collection of art work. Copies of this portrait are of course available to us all at a reasonable price, so we could have, if not the original, a good copy framed and on display in our homes to remind us of one of the world's most famous artists.