On 23 May 1973, a large exhibition opened at the Palais des Papes in Avignon comprising works from the past three years by Pablo Picasso, each one selected by the artist himself. Nu couché was one of the works in this show which became a posthumous survey of Picasso's recent works, as he died on 8 April that year, after the exhibition had already been organized but before it had opened. Rafael Alberti commented at the time of the exhibition: "The huge nave of the Great Chapel of Clement VI, in the Palais des Papes in Avignon, is always impressive; one might think it was made only so that Picasso could invade it, and make the big walls almost disappear with his works" ("Picasso, The Unending Lighting," 1974, reproduced in, Picasso, Mosqueteros, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2009, p. 310). It was with this formidable exhibition of paintings and drawings that he asserted his continued primacy within the artworld, and likewise revealed the daunting creative energy with which he was still blessed.