Picasso portrait of tailor friend on sale

Updated: Jun 20, 2010, 20:58 PM IST

London: An intimate portrait by Pablo Picasso of his tailor friend will feature in an auction here on Tuesday and is expected to fetch one million pounds.

The portrait shows Minguell, a Catalan tailor who was introduced to the artist on his visit to Paris in 1901 and who became a close friend.

It will feature in the Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Bonhams.

It was completed in Barcelona in the early summer of 1901, when Picasso was just 20 years old and it is likely the pair had retreated from Paris for a holiday in their homeland.

Shortly afterwards he gifted it to the tailor - an act of generosity he must have regretted, since he bought it back from Minguell years later. He then kept it with him in his private collection, indicating his strong personal attachment to it.

The auction house said the painting is a very well executed classic portrait which was completed just before he embarked on his famous blue period - the blue background perhaps indicating his future direction.

"Many people associate Picasso with the signature modernist works for which he is best known, but this portrait shows an alternative, personal side to the artist as well as giving insight into his friendship with the tailor," said Edward Plackett of Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art department.