Portrait of Bibi la Purée
On loan from a private collection, © Private Collection

At the age of 20, Picasso returned to Paris in 1901. Excited by the city’s vibrant art scene and flamboyant characters, he painted with explosive new conviction.

This portrait shows Bibi, a well-known eccentric from bohemian Montmartre. A former actor and inveterate absinthe drinker, he was for sometime private secretary to the poet Paul Verlaine.

Painted in broad, gestural strokes and harsh colours, the portrait captures Bibi’s grotesque energy.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1881 - 1973
Full title
Portrait of Bibi la Purée
Date made
1901
Medium and support
Oil on board
Dimensions
48.5 x 39 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
On loan from a private collection
Inventory number
L1142
Location in Gallery