Lot 107
  • 107

Pablo Picasso

750,000 - 1,000,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso

  • Signed Picasso (lower right); dated 17.3.65 III on the reverse
  • Oil on canvas
  • 28 ¾ by 23 ¾ in.
  • 73 by 60.5 cm


Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Galerie Beyeler, Basel
Acquired from the above on May 18, 1972


Basel, Kunstmuseum, Pablo Picasso: Das Spätwerk, Themen 1964-1972, 1981, no. 70
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Picasso: The Last Years, 1963-1973, 1983, no. 17



Klaus Gallwitz, Picasso: The Heroic Years, Lucerne and Frankfurt, 1971, no. 127, illustrated  p. 95
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Oeuvres de 1965 à 1967, vol. 25, Paris, 1972, no. 44, illustrated p. 28
Gert Schiff, Picasso: The Last Years, 1963-1973, New York, 1983, no. 17, catalogued p. 127
The Picasso Project, Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, The Sixties II 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, no. 65-051, illustrated p. 159

Catalogue Note

Painted en grisaille, Le peintre au chapeau was the third painting of the day on March 17, 1965, and is a particularly striking variant on the theme of the artist that had fascinated Picasso since his earliest years. At different times in his career, he had devoted considerable effort to the exploration of the theme of the artist and his model.  In the winter of 1963, it was his major preoccupation, and there are countless variations, interior studio views, as well as versions in which the artist sets up his studio out of doors. In a further subset, which continued until the year of his death, he focused on the artist himself, more often than not with the easel aligned with the edge of the canvas. 


In the present work, however, the easel has moved beyond the edge of the frame to the left and the tip of the paint brush, held between massive thumb and forefinger, just grazes the edge of the painted surface of the canvas. Fraught with anxiety, the artist seems to be considering the existential act of painting rather than the application of pigment to canvas. If it was a crisis, it was a brief one.  By the end of the month, in a work such as Le peintre et son tableau painted on March 30, 1965 (Zervos, vol. 25, no. 64), the artist stands confidently beside a cheerfully colored rendition of a reclining nude placed parallel to the surface of the canvas.


Reinhold Hohl refers to a drawing, dated 3. February 1971, which is inscribed verso by Picasso "Un peu Matisse" (see fig. 1).  He argues that this painting is not a self-portrait because the hand of the sitter is not reversed as seen through a mirror,  but has physiognomical similarity to the cited drawing and is therefore a portrait of Matisse.

Fig. 1, Pablo Picasso, Un peu Matisse, February 3, 1971, ink on paper, Private Collection