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Le peintre
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Le peintre
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Le peintre

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About the item

Le Peintre belongs to a major series of paintings that Picasso executed in 1967, on the theme of the musketeer, which became one of the key subjects of his late œuvre. In the present work, the figure of the musketeer is seen in the role of the artist in front of his easel, indicating the persona of the musketeer as a disguised portrait of Picasso himself. The image of the musketeer allowed Picasso to escape the limitations of contemporary subject matter and explore the spirit of a past age. These characters embodied the courtly mannerisms of the Renaissance gentleman and signified the golden age of painting, reflecting the influence of Rembrandt (fig. 1) on Picasso's art.  Picasso had devoted a large portion of his time and passion throughout the 1960s to the reinterpretation and investigation of the old masters, an experience in which he reaffirmed his connection with some of the greatest painters in the history of art.\n\nThe iconography of the artist at his easel is indicative of the artist's self-awareness in his mature years, and the present image brings together an evocation of Picasso's Spanish heritage with his role as a painter. As Marie-Laure Bernadac has observed: 'If woman was depicted in all her aspects in Picasso's art, man always appeared in disguise or in a specific role, the painter at work or the musketeer. In 1966, a new and final character emerged in Picasso's iconography and dominated his last period to the point of becoming its emblem. This was the Golden Age gentleman, a half-Spanish, half-Dutch musketeer dressed in richly adorned clothing complete with ruffs, a cape, boots, and a big plumed hat ... All of these musketeers are men in disguise, romantic gentlemen, virile and arrogant soldiers, vainglorious and ridiculous despite their haughtiness. Dressed, armed, and helmeted, this man is always seen in action; sometimes the musketeer even takes up a brush and becomes the painter' (Brigitte Léal, Christine Piot and Marie-Laure Bernadac, The Ultimate Picasso, New York, 2000, p. 455).\n\nAs the image of the musketeer developed in Picasso's paintings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he became a multi-dimensional figure, exhibiting a range of personalities including card players, musicians, pipe smokers or painters, as in the present work; often they wear swords, or are accompanied by female nudes (fig. 2). The influence of salon painters such as Velázquez and Delacroix is evident in Picasso's works from this period, yet he imbued his compositions with a contemporary style and a sense of wit entirely his own. According to his wife Jacqueline Roque, the artist's interest in the musketeers began 'when Picasso started to study Rembrandt,' but his appreciation of other great figures of the Renaissance, including Shakespeare, also influenced the appearance of these characters.\n\nLe Peintre is a dynamic painting which reflects the complexity of Picasso's sentiments regarding his role as an artist. In the 1960s and early 1970s, the subject of a painter and his model (fig. 3) accounted for a large part of his creative output. In the present work, however, he eliminated the female model and focused entirely on the artist and the process of painting itself. Picasso made no attempt here to create a spatial portrait. Rather, his flat layers of paint give the figure's face a mask-like quality, exaggerating the features that show him in both his roles as a painter and a musketeer. The attributes of the figure are divided on the canvas: the left half is dedicated to the painter's paraphernalia including the palette, the brushes and the easel, while the right-hand side shows the attributes of the musketeer - the characteristic hair, moustache, beard and collar. The energy and complexity which result from this synthesis of reflect the passion Picasso maintained into his later years.\nSigned Picasso (upper right); dated 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 3. 67. on the reverse
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medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Pablo Picasso

dimensions

81 by 100cm.

literature

Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso. Œuvres de 1965 à 1967, Paris, 1972, vol. 25, no. 308, illustrated pl. 135 Sir Roland Penrose & John Golding (ed.), Picasso, London, 1973, no. 425, illustrated p. 261 (titled Seventeenth-Century Painter) The Picasso Project, Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture. The Sixties II, 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, no. 67-133, illustrated p. 309 Picasso: Tradition and Avant-Garde (exhibition catalogue), Museo Nacional del Prado & Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2006, fig. 46.2, illustrated p. 339

provenance

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris Galleria Medea, Cortina d'Ampezzo Sale: Finarte, Milan, 15th March 1983, lot 78 Private Collection (purchased at the above sale) Acquired from the above by the present owner

signedDate

Signed Picasso (upper right); dated 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 3. 67. on the reverse

time_period

Painted between 22nd and 27th March 1967.

consignmentDesignation

Property from a Private European Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1881-1973


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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