Picasso versus Picasso

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Picasso versus Picasso

From Juan Carlos Martinez

Published before 2005


There is good evidence surfacing these days demonstrating that the best of Picasso's works were done by his father, Jose Ruíz. The evidence is based on extensive handwriting analysis (300 pages +) of signatures and letters of Picasso family members, including Picasso's as a youngster and that of his father. The work was compiled and commissioned by Sr. Romulo Tenés in Spain.

The evidence is very compelling and I tend to believe it. The conclusion that the best of Picasso's so-called early works were done by his father makes a lot of sense. I have never believed that the two images in your folder, the old man study and the detail from the altar scene, were by the hand of a 15 year old, particularly since there are many other extant Picasso pictures from that era and later, which are not nearly as accomplished as these are. It is possible, as Patrick suggests, that they were heavily assisted by the master, Mr. Ruíz, which is what I used to think, as well. However, it turns out that the signatures on both of those paintings are "P. Ruíz" with the "P" looking all the world like a "J" with a loop put on it later on to make it appear to be a "P". The expert handwriting analysts hired by Mr. Tenés - not art people, but forensic researchers - concluded this fact and that the signatures are not those of Picasso. What's more, the custom in Spain is to take both the mother's name and the father's. (Father's name comes first and mother's at the end). As I said, there are numerous other contemporary pictures, all appearing to be done by a teenager instead of by a mature artist, and they have the signature "Pablo Ruíz Picasso"; his mother's maiden name was Picasso. They are not signed just "P. Ruíz" as these two are. It would be illogical and inconsistent for a 15 or 16 year old kid to have signed his work "Ruíz".

I suppose the art world would not easily accept this idea, as I imagine you wouldn't either, and it may never come to pass that it is considered to be the truth. There is simply too much vested interest, and money, in maintaining the current myth. However, seeing the evidence myself, I feel it explains a lot of the anomalies in Picasso's early works and that it makes very good sense. Those anomalies are that some early pieces we know of were mediocre to good, obviously executed by the hand of a youth, as one would expect, while a very few others are clearly superior works, done by an adult. (No great painter was ever better as a teenager than as an adult. Rembrandt was no Rembrandt when he was 16 years old and neither was Picasso. Let's face it.) The other anomalies are that his father, Jose Ruíz, was a lifelong and well respected academy teacher and artist who doesn't seem to have left the world with even a single work of art? I don't think so. Finally, one of the other titbits of information from Mr. Tenés is that many of the best "early" Picassos didn't surface until after Pablo became started to be famous and AFTER his father died. Perhaps he took his mother's name instead of his father's for a reason - to distance himself further? I don't know.

Not only was Picasso's early work not the equal of Bouguereau's, it seems it was not even the equal of Picasso's.