The friendship between Rusiñol and Canudas began in 1885 after being introduced by Miquel Utrillo, and grew over the years, especially in the period they both lived in Paris in the barracks on Rue de l’Orient. It lasted until the death of the engraver in Sitges in 1892 from tuberculosis.
Of the many portraits Rusiñol painted of his friends, two are depictions of the engraver Ramon Canudas. The artist did them only a few months apart in 1892, precisely when Canudas’ illness was clearly irreversible.
In this work, the subject is seated in front of a heater, with a blanket covering his legs and book open on his lap.