Lot 75
  • 75

Pablo Picasso

900,000 - 1,200,000 GBP
1,028,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • signed Picasso (lower right); dated 25.3.67. II on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 100 by 80cm.
  • 39 3/8 by 31 1/2 in.


Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired by 1981)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1980s


Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Picasso, 1881-1981. A Centennial Selection, 1981, no. 60
Basel, Kunstmuseum, Pablo Picasso, Das Spätwerk, 1981, no. 22
Vienna, Rathaus, Picasso in Wien, 1981-82, no. 73
Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Picasso. Der Maler und seine Modelle, 1986, no. 55


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso. OEuvres de 1965 à 1967, Paris, 1972, vol. 25, no. 310, illustrated pl. 136
The Picasso Project, Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. The Sixties II, 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, no. 67-127, illustrated p. 306

Catalogue Note

Le Peintre belongs to a major series of paintings that Picasso executed in the late 1960s, on the theme of the painter, which became one of the key subjects of his late oeuvre. The figure is depicted in front of an invisible easel, holding the artist's attributes - a paintbrush and a palette. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the subject of painter and his model accounted for a large part of his creative output. In the present work, however, he eliminated the female model and focused entirely on the artist and the process of painting itself. Picasso had devoted a large portion of his time and passion throughout the 1960s to the reinterpretation and investigation of the old masters, an experience in which he reaffirmed his connection to some of the greatest painters in the history of art, and in the present work the artist is depicted as a musketeer. According to his wife Jacqueline Roque, Picasso began using the figure of the musketeer when he started to study Rembrandt, but his appreciation of other great figures of the Renaissance, including Shakespeare, also influenced the appearance of these characters.


In his discussion of the various guises and metamorphoses of the male figure in Picasso's late paintings, Kirk Varnedoe commented: 'Amid all these camouflages, however, the one avatar Picasso embraced most consistently in his final decades was the one with the least disguised self-reference: the figure of the artist [...] The focus was not on his own circumstances. Neither live models nor traditional palettes, which are constant attributes of these late studio scenes, had anything to do with his practice, and the artists in question almost never display his features in more than allusive fashion; they tend to be stock types, typically bearded, which Picasso never was' (K. Varnedoe, 'Picasso's Self-Portraits', in Picasso and Portraiture: Representation and Transformation (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1996, p. 162). The juxtaposition of the persona of the artist with that of the musketeer in Le Peintre reflects the complexity of Picasso's sentiments regarding his role as an artist and his place in the history or art, and embodies the key preoccupations of his late career.