Details & Cataloguing

Œuvres sur Papier


Pablo Picasso
1881 - 1973
Signed Picasso and dated 2.7.70. IV (upper left)
ink on cardboard
8 5/8 x 12 1/4 in.
Executed on 2nd July 1970.
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Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (acquired directly from the artist)
Galerie Berggruen & Cie, Paris (acquired from the above in 1971)
Private collection, Austria (acquired from the above in 1979)
Sale: Im Kinsky, Wien, 10th November 2011, lot 1037
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso dessins en noir et en couleurs 15 décembre 1969-12 janvier 1971, 1971, no. 98, illustrated in the catalogue n.n. 
New York, Leila Haller Gallery, Look at me: Portraiture from Manet to the Present, 2014, illustrated in the catalogue p. 126
Shanghai, Global Harbour Museum, The Legend of Art: Picasso, 2015-16, no. 7, illustrated in the catalogue p. 47


Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Œuvres de 1970, vol. 32, Paris, 1977, no.183, illustrated p. 62

Catalogue Note

Le Peintre et son modèle is one of the major themes in Picasso's work in all mediums, paintings, pastels, drawings, engravings. If the subject is of such importance it is because it symbolically represents the act of creation itself. During the summer of 1970 the artist devoted himself almost entirely to this subject which allowed him to explore the mysteries of the creative process. He sometimes completed several drawings a day in which the décor, painter's age, style and medium develop. The artist, who represents Picasso himself, becomes both creator and observer.

The painter is implicit in the canvas represented on the left and the large hand dominating the composition, a symbol of the creative act inspired by the prostrate model. As in all of Picasso's work, the theme of the painter and his model plays a multiple role. According to Michel Leiris, "That the artist at work – almost always "The painter and his model" which, in Picasso's work, has appeared for a long time as a major theme – has become not his unique theme, but at least the most frequent, shows all the importance that the very act of painting assumes in the eyes of Picasso" (in Jean Leymarie, Picasso. Métamorphoses et Unité, Geneva, 1971, p.191).

It is remarkable that at the end of his life Picasso returned to such an eminently figurative and traditional subject at a time when the art world was interested in Abstract Expressionism and the non-figurative painting of the American school. He who opened the doors to abstraction, without ever however rejecting figuration, returned thus to his great eternal subject.

Œuvres sur Papier