Actor and Child
Acrobat with Ball
Boy with Pipe
Picasso had a sexual relationship with the gay French poet Max Jacob. This lasted 3 years and ended in 1906.
“Oh, Picasso was absolutely having sex with Max Jacob. And everyone knew!” says John Richardson, author of A life of Picasso. (page 2 (love?) )
Brett Masters, Princeton Class of 2008, Winner of the Quin Morton Essay Prize, wrote (Picasso: Sa Vie en Rose ):
"Boy with a Pipe is undeniably provocative, raising questions both about Picasso’s sexuality and his relationships with children. In it, the artist depicts a lanky and vaguely feminized adolescent boy holding an opium pipe. The boy is clearly intoxicated and his pose is sexually suggestive: his legs are spread, his groin, prominent. The homoeroticism at work in the painting seems to suggest homosexual or even pedophilic desires.
"Moreover, a look at Picasso’s oeuvre reveals that Boy with a Pipe is only one of a series of works from 1905 and 1906, on the hinge of his blue and rose periods, which depict effeminized, almost androgynous, adolescent males in vaguely sexual positions. Upon closer inspection, each figure appears in fact to be only a different rendering of the same boy, compelling us to wonder if Picasso, a renowned philanderer, was not also a pedophile...
John Richardson, in A Life of Picasso, says the boy is P’tit’ Louis.
Louis regularly visited Picasso's Bateau Lavoir studio in Paris.
Picasso said Louis “stayed there, sometimes the whole day. He watched me work. He loved that. And he died in the prime of his delinquent life.”
Richardson says that “Picasso was fascinated by the idea of androgynous youth.”
Richardson thinks that the inspiration for Boy with a Pipe was an erotic poem Verlaine wrote about Rimbaud. This poem, Crimen Amoris, refers to an adolescent “evil angel” wearing a halo of flowers. Richardson suggests a link to Picasso’s own relationship with “P’tit Louis”.