• Impressionist/Modern Evening S auction at Christies

    Sale 7831

    Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale

    2 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 48

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

    Tête d'homme barbu

    Price Realised  


    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Tête d'homme barbu
    signed 'Picasso' (lower right); dated and numbered '' (lower left)
    coloured wax crayon on paper
    25¾ x 19¾ in. (65.4 x 50.2 cm.)
    Executed in May 1964

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    In May 1964, Picasso began a series of paintings and drawings of mens' heads, first in profile, and later seen frontally or in three-quarter view. The subjects range from young and virile men in their prime, frequently unshaven and sometimes smoking or wearing a workman's cap, to older men who with their bald heads and grizzled appearance resemble the artist. Invariably, they are clad in a blue and white striped fisherman's vest.

    As photographs of Picasso reveal, the artist frequently wore a similarly striped vest. In 1964, when Picasso was eighty-three years old, he seemed to embark on an intense reimagining of himself at various stations in his long life and varied career. He would portray himself as we see him here, in profile and looking somewhat disheveled, or he would identify himself with the tough, vigorous workmen who feature elsewhere in this series. Young or old, the subject is endowed with Picasso's own famously powerful gaze. In this series of portraits Picasso appropriates his subjects' character and qualities, and absorbs these bold and sometimes contradictory elements into his own complex persona.

    While Picasso's wife Jacqueline was the artist's chief model in his last years, the male figures in Picasso's late work have more varied sources. They are often an alternate representation of the artist himself, or they may be figures from fictional sources, such as the mousquetaires, or artists brought back to life, like Rembrandt or Degas.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (no. 011025).
    International Galleries, Chicago (no. 5567).
    Richard Feigen Gallery, New York.
    Joe Greenebaum, Chicago, by whom acquired from the above.
    Private collection, United States, by whom acquired from the above in the early 1960s; sale, Christie's, New York, 7 November 2007, lot 199. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.


    C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, oeuvres de 1964, vol. 24, Paris, 1971, no. 152 (illustrated pl. 56).
    The Picasso Project (ed.), Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885-1973, The Sixties II 1964-1967, San Francisco, 2002, no. 64-163 (illustrated p. 50).