‘I have less and less time and I have more and more to say’, Picasso commented in his last decade (quoted in Klaus Gallwitz, Picasso Laureatus, Lausanne & Paris, 1971, p. 166). In both style and subject matter, the present work reveals the freedom and spontaneity which Picasso permitted himself to embrace in his later work. Picasso here depicts the nude resting languorously against the cushions, devoted entirely to her own pleasure yet unabashedly meeting the onlooker’s gaze. Her pose echoes that of Gustave Courbet’s celebrated L’Origine du monde, in which a woman’s sexuality is unashamedly glorified. Ultimately, Nu (Nude) serves as a superb illumination of Picasso’s blatant celebration of female eroticism, a theme which stands as arguably the fundamental cornerstone of his most significant works throughout his career.
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