Garçon a la Pipe
“Garçon a la Pipe” (English: Boy with a Pipe) is an oil painting by Pablo Picasso.
It was painted in 1905, when Picasso was 24 years old.
The painting was created during Picasso’s Rose Period, the period where Picasso’s painting used warm orange and red shades as opposed to the cold, sombre tones of his Blue Period.
The painting depicts a boy holding a pipe in his left hand and wearing a garland of roses around his head.
Some people believe that the boy in the picture is an actor. However, some sources claim that he was a local boy who was frequently to be found at Bateau Lavoir, a district famous for being the home to many artists at that time.
Preliminary studies for the painting involved Picasso depicting his model in a variety of different poses including standing up, sitting down, leaning against a wall, lighting a pipe and holding a pipe in his hands.
After much thought, Picasso decided to paint the boy sitting down. Preliminary studies do not show the boy holding anything other than a pipe.
After starting the painting, Picasso gave it a rest period for about a month. During this time, he decided to paint a garland of flowers around the boy’s head though the reason for this is not known.
History of ownership
In 1950, Garcon a la Pipe was bought by John Witney, a former US ambassador to Britain for $30,000 which by today’s standards values the painting at £229,000.
In 2004, the painting was sold at auction by Sotheby’s, New York.
The painting sold for $104 million, making this the world’s most expensive painting at the time.