Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Picador et personnage

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Picador et personnage
signed 'Picasso' (lower right) and dated three times '4.6.60. 5.6.60. 6.6.60.' (upper left)
brush and India ink and gray wash on Japan paper
19 5/8 x 12¾ in. (49.8 x 32.4 cm.)
Painted on 4-6 June 1960
Galerie de l'Elysée (Alex Maguy), Paris.
Private collection, France (acquired from the above, circa 1962); sale, Sotheby's, London, 27 June 2001, lot 156.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
J.-C. Lambert, Picasso: Dessins de tauromachie 1917-1960, Paris, 1960 (illustrated on the cover).
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1968, vol. 19, no. 306 (illustrated, pl. 96).
The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: The Sixties I 1960-1963, San Francisco, 2002, p. 70, no. 60-190 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, Picasso, Dessins 1959-1960, 1960, no. 46 (illustrated).
Barcelona, Sala Gaspar, Dibujos de Picasso, 1961, no. 66 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie de l'Elysée (Alex Maguy), En hommage à Picasso, 1966-1967.

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David Kleiweg de Zwaan
David Kleiweg de Zwaan

Lot Essay

Picasso executed the present drawing during a period in which he was virtually obsessed with the bullfight, or corrida. In 1959 he drew the illustrations for La Tauromaquia o arte de torear, a treatise on bullfighting by Pepe Illo, and provided drawings for Toros y toreros, a text by the artist's friend, the celebrated torero Luis Miguel Dominguín. Speaking of his work at this time, Picasso expressed how he had internalized the corrida, how it had become utterly essential to him, preoccupying him even when he was unable to be at the ring: "Yes, it is my passion...but sometimes something stops me attending...Then, my thoughts are in the arena, I hear the pasodoble, I see the crowd, the entry of the troop, the first bull. One time I felt so bad at missing a fight that I began to conjure up all its phases in my mind...and this has rooted me completely in the art of the bullfight..." (quoted in Picasso, Toros y toreros, exh. cat., Musée Picasso, Paris, 1993, p. 224).

The bullfight and its related themes reflected Picasso's own concerns with nationality and with his native Spain, which he had not been able to visit for so long. It also represented his rekindled interest in machismo as he restlessly entered old age. Art, for Picasso, was a form of autobiography, and the degree to which the artist identified with the role of the bullfighter was evident in the close relationship that he had with Dominguín. Both men expressed and exposed themselves through the style of their art, and intensify the viewer's perception of the subjects they tackle. As with the musketeers and other characters, these images of manly valor acted as substitutes for the artist himself, extensions of his own persona, as he approached old age. In Picador et personnage, the swirling ornate brushwork reveals an image in which Picasso has explored many facets of his life, his personality and his intentions, creating an image that is at once atavistic and rebellious, expressionistic and romantic.

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