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    Sale 2047

    Impressionist and Modern Art Works on Paper

    7 November 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 562

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Homme à l'agneau, mangeur de pastèque et flutiste

    Price Realised  

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Homme à l'agneau, mangeur de pastèque et flutiste
    signed, dated and numbered 'Picasso 3.2.67.I' (upper right)
    brown wax crayon on paper
    19 x 25 in. (48.3 x 63.5 cm.)
    Drawn on 3 February 1967


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    The present work belongs to a series of drawings of similar subjects executed by Picasso in 1967, at the time when he was living with Jacqueline Roque at Mougins, shortly after the one million visitor exhibition--held in 1966 at the Petit Palais and Grand Palais in Paris--that definitively confirmed Picasso as one of the greatest and most renowned masters of the century. In this phase of his prodigious career, Picasso was still measuring himself against the artistic tradition of the past. The watermelon eater, a young boy crowned by leaves and flowers like a Caravaggio's Bacchus, is a subject that often appears in his oeuvre. It has been linked to Picasso's memories of the Spanish Baroque tradition, and, consequently, with the rediscovered hispanidad that played such a key role in his late works. This composition, though, also displays close parallels with paintings of the Le Nain brothers (1600-1648 and 1610-1648), one of which Picasso owned in his personal collection, Le repos du cavalier (now in the Louvre). The Le Nain brothers often depicted poor farmers or peasant families in the fields or in countryside settings; their figures, surrounded by peaceful domestic animals, are often caught eating or playing the flute, like the figures in the present work. Again, though, Picasso mixes and elaborates his sources: another pivotal reference in the present work is to the slice of watermelon in the Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)--an element that one can find frequently in the artist's work, charged with symbolic meanings linked to the Mediterranean tradition; summer; heat and the sensual eating of the fruit.

    Provenance

    Brook Street Gallery, London.
    The Waddington Galleries, London (1976).
    Theodore and Dede Edlich, New York.
    Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Literature

    C. Feld, Picasso, His Recent Drawings, 1966-1968, New York, 1969, no. 91 (illustrated).
    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1973, vol. 27, no. 434 (illustrated, pl. 178).
    The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: The Sixties II 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, p. 277, no. 67-040 (illustrated).


    Exhibited

    New York, Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery, Legends, Winter 2008.