During July of 1933, while vacationing in Cannes, France, Pablo Picasso produced two drawings on a bacchanalian theme. One of these, Cortège, depicts four figures on a beach before a wide expanse of sea. Picasso was inspired to create the work after seeing three intoxicated people—two sailors and a woman—reeling down a street in Marseilles led by a small child. Here, he transforms the characters from this actual event into nude revelers from antiquity with figures that appear in previous compositions by the artist. For example, the child’s face and woman’s voluptuous body are that of Marie-Thérèse Walter (French, 1909–1977), Picasso's young mistress from 1927 to about 1935 and the inspiration for much of his work during this period.
Label from Picasso: The Artist and His Models, November 5, 2016–February 19, 2017