N08789

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Lot 3
  • 3

Pablo Picasso

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
Sold
1,202,500 USD
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Description

  • Pablo Picasso
  • Homme au turban et nu couché
  • Signed Picasso and dated 26.8.69 I (upper right)
  • Black crayon on paper

Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris

Private Collection, New York

Exhibited

New York, Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, Picasso: The Last Decade, 1984, no. 61, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Hirshl & Adler Galleries, Picasso: The Late Drawings, 1988, no. 22, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1969, vol. 31, Paris, 1976, no. 393, illustrated pl. 113

The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: The Sixties III 1968-1969, San Francisco, 2003, no. 69-399, illustrated p. 230

Catalogue Note

Picasso's lascivious sultan, savoring the visual delights of the nude female figure, belongs to a series of works from the late 1960s that are understood to be thinly-veiled references to the artist and his wife, Jacqueline.  The present composition is one of three drawings that the artist completed on August 26, and it is by far the most erotically-charged.  The contortions of the model, whose dark facial features resemble those of Jacqueline, call to mind some of Picasso's most sensually explicit depictions of the voluptuous Marie-Thérèse from the 1930s.  In this later work, though, a male figure has entered the composition, whose physical proximity to the nude could be interpreted as the 88-year-old Picasso himself reclaiming the sexual stamina of his youth.

Themes of sex and passion would appear in many guises throughout Picasso's final years, such as the virile musketeers and pipe-smoking brigadiers entangled in romantic encounters with women, or the relationship between the painter and his model as depicted in the studio.  The artist's choice of an Orientalist theme here reflects his life-long admiration of the works of Ingres, whose scenes of odalisques, harems and hamams were a potent source of inspiration for Picasso's art.  In the present work, the figure of the sultan is both a reference to the aesthetic mastery of Ingres and a symbol of authority and strength - qualities which Picasso hoped to align with his own persona.

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