Pablo Picasso Poses as Popeye (1957)


Suf­fer­ing from tuber­cu­lo­sis, André Villers spent eight long years at a sana­to­ri­um in the French Riv­iera town of Val­lau­ris, start­ing in 1947. There, while recov­er­ing, he learned pho­tog­ra­phy, refined his craft, and lat­er shot por­traits of Europe’s great artists — Fer­nand Léger, Alexan­der Calder, Sal­vador Dalí, Joan Miró, Marc Cha­gall, Max Ernst, Jean Cocteau, Luis Buñuel, Fed­eri­co Felli­ni, to name a few. Villers met Picas­so in 1953 and stayed at his side for close to a decade, writes The Age, “qui­et­ly observ­ing and shoot­ing the man at work and at play.” In the image above, we find Picas­so most cer­tain­ly at play. Appar­ent­ly Pablo threw on some ran­dom clothes one day, and said “Look at me, I am Pop­eye!” That scene is record­ed for pos­ter­i­ty with the great image above. Click to view it in a larg­er for­mat.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Post­cards That Picas­so Illus­trat­ed and Sent to Jean Cocteau, Apol­li­naire & Gertrude Stein

Watch Picas­so Cre­ate Entire Paint­ings in Mag­nif­i­cent Time-Lapse Film (1956)

Picas­so Paint­ing on Glass

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.