Caricatures


       

Miquel Utrillo by Pablo Picasso, 1900. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, MPB 110.260, Gift of Pablo Picasso, 1970 © Succession
Picasso/DACS, London 2016

Picasso, Àngel Fernández de Soto and Sebastià Junyer i Vidal in a Café by Pablo Picasso, c.1903. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, MPB 70.808, Gift of Sebastià Junyer i Vidal, 1966 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016

Picasso and Sebastià Junyer i Vidal series: Picasso and Sebastià Junyer i Vidal set off on a journey by Pablo Picasso, 1904. Museu Picasso, Barcelona, MPB 70.803, Gift of Sebastià Junyer i Vidal, 1966 © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016


In 1899 Picasso abandoned his academic training and joined the  coterie of older Catalan artists and writers who met at Barcelona’s Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats), a tavern which operated as a venue for cultural activities and was the undisputed centre of the city’s avant-garde.

Through these artists, Picasso was introduced to, and absorbed, international trends in contemporary art: Post-Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism. His exceptional talent was recognised by his peers and in February 1900 he mounted an exhibition of one hundred or more rapidly executed drawings of the tavern’s habitués. Simultaneously, he produced witty caricatures. Miniature in scale, they were created for reproduction in magazines, although only a few were actually published. Regarded as a means of consolidating group-identity, caricature was widely practised in Picasso’s circle in Barcelona.