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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE PRIVATE COLLECTION OF MARINA PICASSO
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Nu allongé et tête d'homme de profil III

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Nu allongé et tête d'homme de profil III
dated and numbered '27.3.65. III' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
23 5/8 x 28 ¾ in. (60 x 73 cm.)
Painted in Mougins on 27 March 1965
The artist's estate, and thence by descent to the present owner.
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 25, Oeuvres de 1965 à 1967, Paris, 1972, no. 73, n.p. (illustrated pl. 42).
Cannes, Centre d'art La Malmaison, Picasso, le nu en liberté, Collection Marina Picasso, June - October 2013, p. 103 (illustrated).
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Keith Gill
Keith Gill

Lot Essay

Painted on the 27th of March, 1965, Pablo Picasso’s Le peintre et son modèle exemplifies the indefatigable zeal and astounding creative vigour that characterises the great Spanish master’s late work. Referencing art historical precedents from Titian to Velázquez, Goya to Manet, Ingres to Matisse, the composition centres on a raven haired female model as she lies in repose atop a divan, her arms raised elegantly above her head, exposing her nude body to the viewer. The left of the canvas is dominated by a close-up view of the head of the painter, his eyes locked on her form as he attempts to capture her figure in all its sensual beauty. Picasso had long been fascinated by the near mystical relationship between the artist, the model and the canvas, by the power of the painter’s gaze to immortalise the image of the woman before him, and the deep connection that existed between the creator and his subject. However, the theme took on a new importance for Picasso during the 1960s, reinvigorating his art and ushering in a period of unfettered creativity in which he once again revelled in the physical act of painting itself.
Picasso’s style became increasingly simplified as he explored the artist-model theme, and by the spring of 1965 the protagonists in his multivalent and manifold depictions had become reduced to a series of simple, graphic lines and ideographic signs, which the artist masterfully deployed and played with to generate a scene using the most minimal of components. In Le peintre et son modèle, the painter’s face emerges from the white of the canvas, his presence conjured by a simple formation of black, almost calligraphic, lines which denote eyes, nostrils, mouth, and beard. Likewise, the reclining female nude is constructed using a pair of zig-zagging strokes of paint, the artist capturing a sense of her voluptuousness and sensuality with the briefest sweep of his brush. This schematic approach to his characters reflects a considered effort by the artist to marry the act of drawing with painting, as he sought to simplify the process of translating his vision on to the canvas as swiftly and directly as he possibly could. Reduced to its barest, essential elements, his late work is painting in its purest form, a direct and immediate embodiment of life and of art making. As Picasso explained: ‘A dot for the breast, a line for the painter, five spots of colour for the foot, a few strokes of pink and green… That’s enough, isn’t it? What else do I need to do? What can I add to that? It has all been said’ (Picasso, quoted in B. Léal et al., The Ultimate Picasso, New York, 2003, p. 464).

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