From his earliest days, Picasso developed a broad knowledge of the history of art and was familiar with a wide range of different historical styles. As an art teacher, Picasso's father had introduced the young Pablo to the works of the Old Masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Francisco Goya, El Greco, and, whenever possible took him to art galleries and museums. Picasso wos just 13 gears old when his father took him to the Prado in Madrid for the first time. During this relatively brief visit Picasso made two sketches after Diego Velazquez.
Picasso's first-hand knowledge of Old-Master painting was significantly increased during his studies in Madrid and Barcelona, and later by his regular visits to the Louvre in Paris He was never to forget the lessons of the Old Masters and their work remained a constant source of inspiration for him throughout his career, As this work shows, however, Picasso was also interested in more contemporary French painters, and he here employs the loose brush strokes and heightened colour palette of Vincent van Gogh, whose works were widely discussed in the bohemian circles of both Barcelona and Paris,