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the Guardian

Blue period Picasso - with a little secret - goes under the hammer. Mark Brown for The Guardian.

One of only a handful of blue period Picassos still in private hands will come to the market with a never publicly seen secret on the reverse of its canvas.

Picasso’s La Gommeuse, an erotically charged 1901 painting of a cabaret performer, is remarkable in its own right and will create waves at the top end of the global art auction market.

But the crazy, bawdy painting on the back is perhaps just as jaw dropping. It is a painting of Picasso’s friend and flatmate Pere Mañach naked apart from a red and yellow striped turban on his head, in a sexual pose, urinating into an imaginary landscape.

It has the inscription “Recuerdo a Mañach en el dia de su santo”, which shows it was intended as a gift to Mañach on his saint’s day, 29 June, the feast of St Peter.

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Home / Artist News / Blue period Picasso - with a little secret - goes under the hammer. Mark Brown for The Guardian.

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