Lot 150
  • 150

Pablo Picasso

300,000 - 400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Cinq personnages
  • Signed Picasso and dated 2.10.68. III (lower right)
  • Pen and ink on paper


Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Michel Couturier & Cie., Paris
Galerie Gianna Sistu, Paris
Acquired from the above in 1976 and thence by descent


Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Pablo Picasso, 1988-89, no. 216 (titled Figurer)


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1967 et 1968, vol. XXVII, Paris, 1973, no. 317, illustrated pl. 122
The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawing and Sculpture, The Sixties III, 1968-1969, San Francisco, 2003, no. 68-157, illustrated p. 47

Catalogue Note

Picasso drew enthusiastically throughout his later life, and the beginning of 1968 finds him concerned mostly with scenes of the Turkish bath. He produces numerous variations on the nude female figure, both alone and observed by roguish male onlookers. Later in the year, he narrows his focus to large breasted women that resemble his second wife, Jacqueline. This period is also characterized by the artist’s pre-occupation with the musketeer, a noble and sophisticated gentleman appearing in Picasso’s works as a rakish and knowing lothario. The present work combines these two motifs that captivated Picasso at this time, showing an amble busted figure on display for a moustached nobleman towering over her on the right of the scene.

Picasso further enlivens the composition by introducing new characters that add a playful and mischievous tone to this charming drawing. While some members of the group are depicted with burlesque exaggeration, others are smudged and blurred out of focus. Picasso has juxtaposed fluid and heavy lines, animating the characters and articulating the boundaries between them, and in so doing he powerfully exhibits the quality and drama of his draughtsmanship. Picasso seemed to revel in his indefinable style and prodigious variety: “you see me here and yet I’ve already changed, I’m already elsewhere. I never stay in one place and that’s why I have no style” (quoted in André Verdet, Picasso (exhibition catalogue), Musée de l’Athénée, Geneva, 1963, n.p.).