Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garçon à la pipe

Boy with a Pipe [1905]

Pablo Picasso, Garçon à la pipe (Boy with a pipe), 1905

Garçon à la pipe is one of Picasso's most well-known Rose Period paintings, both due to its art historical importance as well as its art market presence. (See my previous Rose Period post here.)


The subject of the painting is intriguing for its relatively obscure subject matter and unknown model. The interplay of masculine and feminine elements suggests a mythological character and it was proposed* that Picasso was inspired by Paul Verlaine's Crimen Amoris.


Now, the most gorgeous of all these angels
Was sixteen under his crown of flowers.
Arms folded on necklaces and fringes,
He's dreaming, eye filled with flames and cries.


The painting originally sold in 1950 for $30,000. When it appeared at auction again in 2005, it set the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, reaching $104,168,000. This record has since been replaced by Jackson Pollock's No. 5 from 1948, but Garçon à la pipe remains a cultural and commercial icon.


I'm wearing PRPS jeans, a Ralph Lauren chambray shirt, vintage jewelry, and a self-made flower crown. My dad made the wooden pipe.

[Picasso image from and Verlaine translation from

*by Picasso biographer John Richardson.]


  1. This is such a praise worthy homage Ariel. The appearance of smoke coming from the pipe shocked me at first, because I thought, she does not smoke. Then I took a closer look and it became clear to me that, it was not smoke, but a brilliant reflection of your hair. Absolutely brilliant.

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