Painted less than a year before his death, Nu assis et singe au chapeau is a perfect example of the creative frenzy that took hold of Picasso in the last years of his life. Residing in his house in Mougins, the master never ceased to create, exploring all mediums, painting, drawing, ceramics or etching.
This drawing, remarkable for its precision, is part of the famous series of the "Peintre et son modèle" which became his favorite artistic subject in the 1960s. To quote Marie-Laure Bernadac, "Picasso painted, drew, engraved this subject so much throughout his life and from every possible angle that it almost became a genre in itself as with the landscape or the still life." (in Picasso, la monographie 1881-1973, Barcelona, 2000, p.439)
Nearing the end of his life, Picasso thus paid tribute to the work of the painter itself through these many works depicting the painter and his model. In the present work, Picasso reinterprets the eternal subject with an originality tinged with dark irony. If the female model is depicted with the crude eroticism characteristic of the painter's art at the end of his life, the painter has represented himself here as a monkey, a recurring metaphor of the artist in the art of the Spanish painter.
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