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"Most men, they have a choice. Become a banker, a lawyer, a tailor, a mechanic. Me, I have no choice. No true artist has choice. I must create in order to feel alive."
―Pablo Picasso[src]

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish-born painter and sculptor and the co-founder of the Cubist school of art.


In 1908, Picasso lived in Paris and had a studio in the Montmartre neighborhood with his fellow Cubist, Georges Braque, and his model and mistress Fernande Olivier. He frequented Le Lapin Agile.

In September, he was at the cabaret showing some of his latest sketches to the established master, Edgar Degas, who felt that Picasso's new style was going to ruin art. Claiming that the younger Picasso had talent, but wasn't good enough to do what he could do, Degas left Le Lapin Agile. Picasso retorted that he could do a Degas work in his sleep - a claim refuted by a young Norman Rockwell, who had brought his new friend Indiana Jones to the cabaret.

Picasso, Olivier and Braque took the boys back to the studio, where Picasso began painting a Degas-like piece of Olivier bathing. After finishing a chalk-work, he began the main painting, while the boys explored the studio and Braque explained Cubism to them. After he completed the work, Picasso showed it to them and then spied Rockwell's sketch of one of his Cubist works, and praised it by signing the sketch himself.

Breaking for dinner, Picasso led the group to a restaurant, inviting along two prostitutes as well. At the restaurant, he received a gift from the waiter - a completed Louis Bleriot monoplane model, in return for a painting. At the restaurant, Picasso plotted to get Degas to sign his new "Degas" painting. However, trouble arrived - two pimps showed up, angry at their girls for taking off with Picasso. While Braque started a fight, Picasso stayed out of it, but reveled in the excitement, firing his pistol into the air.

Clearing out of the restaurant, Picasso guided his friends to the closed down marketplace. Picasso helped Jones write his report on Leonardo da Vinci, and explained why he became an artist, and the differences between the old masters and him. Inviting the boys to a party the following evening, Picasso, Braque and Olivier took their leave.

Picasso at the party in 1908.

The next evening, Picasso held an elaborate party for Henri Rousseau above Le Lapin Agile, where he dressed like a harlequin, but still carried his pistol. Some of his guests included Mr. Kahnweiler, an art dealer, and Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Leo Stein. When Rousseau's ghost story was interrupted by the arrival of Jones' tutor, Picasso took her at gunpoint to a side room to sketch her uninvited, and explain how Rockwell and Indy understood art. Despite his rudeness, Miss Seymour was impressed with his realistic sketch of her, and also his cubist drawing of her. As the party was breaking up, Kahnweiler saw the fake "Degas" and expressed interested in buying it, believing it was real. Picasso negotiated a price, so long as he could watch Degas sign it.

The next day, Picasso and Kahnweiler waited at Le Lapin Agile for Degas to arrive. Degas didn't recognize the painting but was coaxed into signing it. Picasso revealed that he was the artist behind the painting and Degas and Kahnweiler had been tricked by his skill. Feeling that Picasso had gone too far in humiliating the old maestro, Braque, Rockwell and Jones didn't back Picasso's claims up. Jones then offered to sell Kahnweiler his Picasso-signed cubist sketch (actually drawn by Rockwell). Picasso claimed it was not his, but eventually his friends hyped up the piece, and Picasso agreed that it was one of his own, and Kahnweiler paid one thousand francs for it. Learning that he could be humbled just as easily as Degas, Picasso smiled and accepted half of Jones' payment for the sketch.

On a furlough from his service in World War I, Jones tried to visit Picasso when he had returned to Paris in October 1916 but no-one answered the bell to Picasso's studio when he called.[1]

In May 1917, while Indy was operating as a spy in Barcelona, Picasso helped him secure a cover job as a dancer in the Ballet Russe, where the artist was designing sets.

Behind the scenes[]

Danny Webb played Picasso in two episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: "Paris, September 1908" and "Barcelona, May 1917".



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