Robust by nature, by 1968 Riopelle began showing early signs of osteoporosis. This condition would slowly begin to limit his mobility, but not his voracious desire to work. The present lot was painted around 1970, at a point when Riopelle was unable to produce physically-demanding large scale works. Though diminutive, it echoes the qualities with which the artist infused his monumental works. Its intimate size is reminiscent of a devotional Renaissance icon, and perhaps even Riopelle himself regarded this small-scale work as his own talisman against his physical limitations.
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