In 1961 Pablo Picasso painted and signed the bottom of the pool at Villa El Martinete, the Marbella, Spain, residence of his friend, celebrated flamenco dancer and actor Antonio Ruiz Soler.
Pablo Picasso made a sketch of Antonio as a gesture of his admiration for the famous flamenco dancer and original owner of the villa.
How the image came to be in the pool is the story of their meeting.
“One of his most memorable performances… The painter was so delighted that he jumped over the table that separated them, using one hand to help him over, started to dance rumbas with Antonio, fell upon his knees, kissed him on the cheek, then got up, seized a pencil, sketched a portrait of the dancer and dedicated it to him.”
FROM THE OBITUARY OF ANTONIO (RUIZ SOLER) EL BAILARIN.
Antonio cherished the drawing and had it copied onto tiles that were placed at the bottom of his pool, where it remains to this day. The original drawing ‘La Danza’ is at the Museo Nacional del Teatro in Almagro, Spain.