The artist Pablo Picasso’s first exhibition opened in Paris on this day in 1901. His host and the organiser of the exhibition was ‘the known anarchist’ Pere Mañach, a friend of Picasso’s from Barcelona, who invited him to stay at his apartment on the Boulevard de Clichy and acted as his agent.
Picasso was kept under surveillance by the French police for 40 years. As evidence of his anarchist leanings, the 1901 police report said of him: ‘One of his recent paintings shows soldiers in foreign uniforms beating a beggar on the ground. Also in his room are several paintings representing mothers being rebuffed as they beg from the upper classes.’ In 2005, one of the paintings he made of the view from the window of his room fetched $1,696,000 in a sale at Christie’s in New York.
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