Picasso, Paris and hashish
Two Picassos are part of the permanent collection of our museum in Barcelona. The two lithographs with the same title Smoker (1964 and 1969) by the charismatic artist adorn both sides of the Modernista fireplace in the museum’s history room. But what is the connection between Picasso and cannabis? In his Rose Period (Paris, 1904-1907) Pablo Picasso and his girlfriend Fernande Olivier used to consume opium and hashish at a friend’s place. Patrick O’Brian mentions in his biography Picasso (1976) that by eating hashish pills “Picasso had a wretched trip – it came to him that he had come to a dead end, painting the same thing over and over again”. Picasso’s experience with cannabis was not entirely positive. This probably has to do with the fact that hashish was mixed with other substances. At the beginning of the 20th century there was not as much information about the drug interactions of cannabis as there is today.