"The remarkable colour-sense which is so notable a feature of his work came to him during his travels in Persia, Egypt and India. Melville was one of the most powerful influences in contemporary art." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Melville
"Boy with a Pipe is undeniably provocative, raising questions both about Picasso’s sexuality and his relationships with children. In it, the artist depicts a lanky and vaguely feminized adolescent boy holding an opium pipe. The boy is clearly intoxicated and his pose is sexually suggestive: his legs are spread, his groin, prominent. The homoeroticism at work in the painting seems to suggest homosexual or even pedophilic desires.
"Moreover, a look at Picasso’s oeuvre reveals that Boy with a Pipe is only one of a series of works from 1905 and 1906, on the hinge of his blue and rose periods, which depict effeminized, almost androgynous, adolescent males in vaguely sexual positions. Upon closer inspection, each figure appears in fact to be only a different rendering of the same boy, compelling us to wonder if Picasso, a renowned philanderer, was not also a pedophile...
John Richardson, in A Life of Picasso, says the boy is P’tit’ Louis.
Louis regularly visited Picasso's Bateau Lavoir studio in Paris.
Picasso said Louis “stayed there, sometimes the whole day. He watched me work. He loved that. And he died in the prime of his delinquent life.”
Richardson says that “Picasso was fascinated by the idea of androgynous youth.”
Richardson thinks that the inspiration for Boy with a Pipe was an erotic poem Verlaine wrote about Rimbaud. This poem, Crimen Amoris, refers to an adolescent “evil angel” wearing a halo of flowers. Richardson suggests a link to Picasso’s own relationship with “P’tit Louis”.
Agnolo Bronzino was a 16th century Florentine artist and poet who became court painter to Cosimo de Medici.
In Jacopo Pontormo's painting Joseph in Egypt, the boy with the dark cloak and brown tunic, sitting on the first step of the stairs, is Agnolo Bronzino.
Bronzino was the adopted son of Jacopo Pontormo and scholars believe that Pontormo and Bronzino were lovers.
Bronzino adopted one of his own pupils, Alessandro Allori, as his son.
According to Michael Cornelius, "In sixteenth-century Florence, this type of arrangement often signaled a sexual relationship between two men; an older man adopting his younger lover was quite common." arts >> Bronzino, Agnolo
Bronzino's poetry "contains homoerotic references and allusions."
Bronzino's painting Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (ca 1540-1545) "conveys strong feelings of eroticism under the pretext of a moralizing allegory." - WebMuseum: Bronzino, Agnolo
Michael Cornelius writes: "There is an undeniable homoerotic subtext to several of Bronzino's famous portraits, including Portrait of a Young Man (ca 1535-1540)... parts of the young man's garb, especially his ring and sash, may act as symbols suggesting his sexuality." arts >> Bronzino, Agnolo