In the autumn of 1960, the year in which the present work was executed, Picasso exhibited a series of drawings focused on a small repertoire of iconic Spanish images, of 'Slender ladies with towering mantillas, witchlike peasant women and flamenco dancers surround[ing] the impassive picador, centre of all admiration, in an aura of flying skirts and provocative gestures.' Penrose argues: 'The drawings, masterly in their creation of movement and suspense, were once a brilliant proof of Picasso's nostalgia for Spain and the ease with which he could communicate his passion to us. Never had the skill of his hand as a draftsman and the invention of his wit been used with more cunning and with more success' (Roland Penrose, Picasso, His Life and Work, London, 1971, p. 443).
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