Jaume Sabartés. Barcelona, 1881 – Paris, 1968
Sculptor and writer. He was a student at the Llotja and under the pen name of Jacobus Sabartés wrote prose and poetry and collaborated with the Joventut magazine. A regular at the Quatre Gats, he was part of Picasso’s group in Barcelona and Paris, who he had met in 1899. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the artist’s work and in 1935, moved to Paris to become the artist’s private secretary. He published a biography of the artist and other writings on the artist's life and work.
Picasso made many pencil or oil portraits of Sabartés which reveal a deep knowledge of the person and a particular complicity which not only enables us to analyse the work stylistically but opens up new horizons which in turn lead us to a deeper knowledge of Picasso’s life.
It should also be recalled that he was an effective link between Picasso and Catalonia, concretely donating his private collection of the artist’s work to Barcelona Town Council so as to set up the Picasso Museum in Barcelona. It opened in 1963 under the name The Sabartés Collection.
Brassaï recounted a conversation with Sabartés on 6th June 1962.
Despite his illness, I saw a transformed, happy Sabartés before me...this Picasso Museum in Barcelona is the success of his self-sacrifice, the crowning moment to his life, his apotheosis
(Brassaï. Conversations avec Picasso (1964). Paris, Gallimard, 1997, p. 371).
In 2007, the city gave the name of Plaça Sabartés to the new remodelled urban space behind the Picasso Museum, between the streets of Montcada and Flassaders.
In 2008, the Museu Picasso has opened a new Sabartés Room, which includes a new acquisition: a portrait of Sabartés as a faun, dated 1946.