Shadow play, also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment (from many countries) which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. (Wikipedia)

As a little aside- By sheer coincidence, today, when on the Heritage Hill tour in Dandenong, Victoria, I saw some work of Kyoko Imazu who works in paper, including puppetry. I will give you a look at her work in a couple of days.

In the mid 1890s Pere Romeu, along with the artist Miquel Utrillo i Morlius (father of the Parisian painter Maurice Utrillo) and sculptor Frederic Homdedeu organised Shadow Plays in Chicago and New York. Their company failed and they returned to Barcelona and began work on opening Els Quatre Gats based on Le Chat Noir.


Picasso also painted Miquel Utrillo in pen and sepia ink with wash on paper. Both images were done 1899-1900.  

Picasso also painted Pere Romeu and tomorrow you will see some of these images.

Els Quatre Gats was closed in 1903. According to some sources, the cafe had become out of fashion and artists moved to other occasions. According to others, Pere Romeo was more interested in the tertulias (gatherings) than in the money and there was bad entrepreneurship.  

Today there’s a new Quatre Gats. Instead of cobwebs, there's a painstaking reproduction of the original décor by Puig, with copies of the original paintings, many of which are now in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC).  (