Details & Cataloguing

Œuvres sur Papier


Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
signed Picasso and dated 31.5.70.VII (lower left)
pen and ink on paper
12 1/8 x 9 in.
Executed on 31st May 1970. 
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Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Galerie Rosengart, Lucerne
Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso, dessins en noir et en couleurs 15 décembre 1969-12 janvier 1971, 1971, no. 33, illustrated in the catalogue p. 29
Zurich, Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Picasso: Drawings, Watercolors, Pastels, 1988, n. 28, illustrated in the catalogue n.n.


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, œuvres de 1970, Paris, 1978, vol. 32, no. 98, illustrated p. 41

Catalogue Note

During the last years of his life Picasso never stopped painting and drawing and his many works testify to an astonishing virtuosity, combining the most complex of techniques. The works from these years reveal an artist at the height of his art, in constant search of innovation. The works shown at the now legendary exhibition at the Palais des Papes d'Avignon in 1970, the year of the present work, affirm this.

His creativity is expressed notably in the many sketchbooks filled with numerous ink, pen and felt drawings. These studies were a means for Picasso to abandon himself to real experimentation. As is the case of the present work, he marked a number and date at the bottom of each of these drawings as if the better to emphasize their feverish succession. They are none the less guided by a logical and planned development.

Through these two sensual, sculpted figures Deux nus demonstrates how much Picasso, at the end of his life, managed to keep intact his sense of eroticism and his technical mastery. Here the artist gives one of his many interpretations of his favorite theme: the female nude. The techniques employed in the present work are diverse; the pure, serene line of the right hand figure evokes thus the classical works of the 1920s whilst the hatched lines sculpting the face of the left hand figure echo the masklike faces of the glorious years of the Demoiselles d'Avignon. Deux nus thus appears as the accomplished synthesis of the Spanish master's art who, only a few years before his death, was able to assert a creative genius that was still very much alive.

Œuvres sur Papier