Lot 205
  • 205

Pablo Picasso

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
602,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Adolescents, aigle et âne
  • signed Picasso, dated 6.3.67. and numbered I (upper right)
  • coloured crayons on paper


Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris
Waddington Galleries, London
Private Collection, London (acquired from the above in 2002; sale: Sotheby's, London, 24th June 2009, lot 24)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Tokyo, Isetan Museum of Art, Picasso, 1981, no. 78, illustrated in the catalogue
London, Waddington Galleries, Picasso/Matisse Works on Paper, 1997, no. 8, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (titled 'Jeune homme à l'aigle et cavalier')


René Char & Charles Feld, Picasso, dessins 27.3.66 - 15.3.68, Paris, 1969, no. 136, illustrated n.p.
Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, œuvres de 1967 et 1968, Paris, 1973, vol. XXVII, no. 473, illustrated pl. 183
The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. The Sixties II, 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, no. 67-093, illustrated p. 293

Catalogue Note


Adolescents, aigle et âne is an extraordinary example of Picasso’s ability to express complex themes through seemingly simplistic visual vocabulary of line and colour. In the present work, one youthful figure sits atop a donkey while another sits next to him, a fierce eagle perched on his arm. While this delightful and humorous imagery may on the one hand represent the leisure of adolescence as its title suggests, there is no doubt that the theme of youth and sexual vitality is the driving force behind this scene. In the late 1960s, Picasso created a series of drawings dominated by two themes: the female nude as complement to the male artist, and the male figure with animals, often in the form of a musketeer or musician. While these images may vary in subject and style, the themes of sexual virility and the animalistic power of youth feature consistently and prominently, serving as a foundation of the artist's late work. Such thematic focus is often interpreted as an attempt by the artist, then 88 years old, to reclaim the sexual ego and stamina of his youth. Thus the figures in the present image, and the one seated at left in particular, proudly naked with floral crown and majestic eagle, can easily be interpreted as an avatar of the younger artist, Picasso’s own projection of his adolescent self.

In his devotional poetry about Picasso’s late works, Spanish poet Rafael Alberti writes: ‘Each day begins for you like a powerful erection, a heated spear point turned against the rising sun. It is Priapus who continues to ignite the invention of your graces and your monsters’ (quoted in Picasso: The Late Drawings, New York, 1988, p. 6).