|At a time when the young Galanis was anteroom to the Butter Plate in the company of Van Dongen, at a time when Picasso was selling his paintings for ten francs, rue des Martyrs, to a former wrestler and Utrillo his own hundred cents only Pigalle, to a former butcher, a painter barely older than them, Pierre Girieud, already enjoyed a certain notoriety. Arrived from Provence on the wing of the sirocco, the petulant Gigi was the best, the most frank of the companions. His workshop in the rue des Saules, in the very shadow of the Agile Rabbit, resounded day and night with a happy roar. Fortunately, he had no neighbors but the cemetery dead. His New Years Eve was famous. People came there from Montparnasse in horse-drawn cabs, and the master of the house received, glass in hand, comrades whom he had never seen. Even, one year, two authentic Chinese, in dresses embroidered with gold, who were apparently painters graduates from Beijing. While his comrades could not place their works, Girieud was already exhibiting at Druet, who had sold his café restaurant to open a gallery, in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The merchant paid him twenty-five louis gold each month. Like on the other hand, his father paid him his rent and sent him a hundred francs a month, Gigi was very wealthy. At Azon's, at the Enfants de la Butte, where all the hungry people of the Bateau Lavoir ate, he was one of the few to pay and offer tours, because the bottle did not scare him. Despite everything, no one was jealous of him; it was not yet fashionable. Everyone considered their success deserved. Even the cubists.
And yet his classical art was far removed from theirs.
This classicism, it is true, was not without audacity. Having dreamed of painting a Temptation of Saint Anthony, - because religious or mythological subjects had his preference - he represents the saint shamelessly naked in front of a cross, surrounded by bearded characters whom their chasubles, their mitres and their gold stocks designated as prelates. Druet, who had rich amateurs in Russia, thought that a work of this character would sell better there and shipped it to Moscow. Without anyone knowing why, he had had the baroque idea of ??naming this painting the Iconoclasts. The term terrified the Czarist officials. Image breakers? Icon breaker? It was a provocation! All the more obvious since the characters looked like Archimandrites and the scene took place in front of a Byzantine style basilica.
They therefore returned the painting to its sender but, to make it harmless, smeared it with white lead|