1874 - 1936
After Hours

Oil on canvas on board, signed lower left
Image size: 14 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches (36.5 x 44.5 cm)
Hand made frame

In this atmospheric scene a drunk is walking home – he must be causing some noise as another person is leaning out of his window to the right looking at him.

The artist has captured old London beautifully with the old bins, advertising on the walls and the cats bemused by the drunken figure. It sometimes takes an outsider such as Sancha to appreciate the beauty of the scene.

Francisco Sancha Lengo

Self portrait in London

Francisco Sancha y Lengo was born in Malaga in 1874. He attended the School of Fine Arts there and studied under Joaquín Martínez de la Vega, the eccentric, influential teacher that baptised a young Picasso with champagne. Such an education served him well, and by 1897 Sancha was studying at the Royal Academy in Madrid under José Moreno Carbonero (1860-1942).

Soon after the National Exhibition in 1899 Sancha left for Paris with the encouragement of the Prime Minister and a scholarship of 1000 pesetas. Picasso joined him a year later, and he too would find that pesetas did not go far in the French capital.

Sancha, who married Matilde Padrós and who worked in London as a furniture decorator for a time, produced many works of London. The artwork is a faithful witness of his time, a man full of concerns, attentive to the social reality that he reflected through art.

Sancha took work with journals such as Le cri de Paris, Le rire, Frou-Frou and L’Assiette au beurre. For the latter he provided numerous illustrations and it was likely through him that the magazine later approached a desperate Picasso with an offer of 800 francs in late 1900. The two seem to have been close friends. The sculptor Alberto Sanchez Perez recalls how in 1937 he informed Picasso of the death of Sancha, prompting him to reply: “Poor Paco, I owed him 100 francs.” It is also telling that in January 1969, when responding to a journalist on which artists he most admired, Picasso replied “Miguel Ángel [Michelangelo] y Paco Sancha.”