… and Picasso copied
The first days of summer 1891, Pablo Ruiz Picasso was taking his admission exam at the High School of Málaga. Here is a reproduction of his written exam and the application for his admission. The circumstances of this exam are described by the painter Jaime Sabartés, Picasso’s friend and personal secretary since 1936, in his book Picasso. Retratos y recuerdos [in English: Picasso. Portraits and memories]. The story, told below, is funny and true, reflecting the little knowledge of a child his age.
“You had to know at least something …”
“I swear I didn’t, man. Nothing. Absolutely nothing, it was a complete joke.”
In the theoretical part of the exam, some questions are unanswered by the child. In the practical part, Picasso says that after he copied the numbers from the blackboard, he went to the teacher’s podium and, from there, he was able to observe how the operation was solved on one of the tables. He memorised the numbers and reproduced them in his exam as it was a drawing.
“Very well, very well! It shows got it. The rest will come in time. You see, kid? What’s the use of worrying?
On the way back home, they carried their certificates. Pablo couldn’t think about anything other than his mother being happy.