72
72

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
MOUSQUETAIRE ET NU. BUSTES
Estimate
3,000,0004,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,824,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
72

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Pablo Picasso
MOUSQUETAIRE ET NU. BUSTES
Estimate
3,000,0004,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,824,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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New York

Pablo Picasso
1881-1973
MOUSQUETAIRE ET NU. BUSTES
Signed Picasso (upper left); dated 19.4.1967 III on the reverse 
Oil on canvas
38 1/4 by 51 1/8 in.
97 by 130 cm

Painted on April 19, 1967.


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Provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris

Berggruen & Cie, Paris

James Goodman Gallery, New York

Waddington Galleries, London

Private Collection, Japan

Private Collection, Switzerland

Exhibited

London, Waddington Galleries, Pablo Picasso 1881-1973, 1987, no. 25

London, Waddington Galleries, Twentieth Century Works, 1988, no. 14

Literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, oeuvres de 1965 à 1967, vol. 25, Paris, 1972, no. 341, illustrated pl. 147

The Picasso Project, Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. The Sixties II, 1964-1967, no. 67-162, illustrated p. 232 

Catalogue Note

Like most of Picasso’s late paintings, Mousquetaire et nu. Bustes has its origin in the subject of a painter and his model.  In a series of large canvases, Picasso developed a number of variations on this theme, always characterized by a great spontaneity in brushwork and coloration, and an extraordinary creative energy (see fig. 1).  Never tiring of exploring visual means of depicting erotic tension,  Picasso’s men and women are seen in various costumes and performing various activities (see fig. 2). 

At the time he completed the present work, Picasso was in his late eighties. It is believed that these pictures, featuring a virulent, playful and often flirtatious male figure, were meant to embody the artist’s lost youth and vigor. This depiction, as well as the others like it that Picasso completed around this time (see fig. 3), were understood to be disguised portraits of the artist himself and his wife, Jacqueline .  The identity of the couple here is much more decipherable than in many of the other works of this period, with Jacqueline’s characteristic almond eyes and black hair tied up in a knot at the top of head and Picasso’s unmistakable bald, bulbous head and strong profile. 

Gert Schiff has written about the significance of these pictures, observing how they offer an escape from the struggles of everyday life in a manner similar to Gauguin’s pictures of his Tahitian paradise: “Here the old artist revives one last time that dream which Paul Gauguin had impressed so forcibly upon his generation: the flight from civilization.  To think there are whole peoples who lie in the sand and pipe upon bamboo canes!  To think that it should be possible to rid oneself of all norms and necessities of modern life, of the curse of individuality – to live a life without memory, hence without death; to come into being and disintegrate like a plant and to span the interim safely embedded in the mythical collective of a primitive society.  Could it be that the brain itself is the result of a faulty development?  This question seems to lurk behind those large paintings like Nude Man and Woman and The Aubade  in which Picasso transforms his bucolic figures into budding primeval giants” (Gert Schiff, Picasso, the last years, 1963-1973 (exhibition catalogue), The Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, 1983).

Fig. 1, Picasso in his studio surrounded by "The Artist and his Model" series, Mougins, 1963

Fig. 2, Pablo Picasso, Nu couché et homme jouant de la guitare, 1970, oil on canvas, Musée Picasso, Paris

Fig. 3, Pablo Picasso, Le peintre et son modèle, 1964, oil on canvas, sold: Sotheby's, London, February 8, 2005, lot 57 

Fig. 4, Picasso and Jacqueline in the 1960s

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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New York