One of the interesting aspects of Picasso's late period, to which Tte d'homme et nu assis belongs, is the sheer volume of works he produced in the last years of his life. Of the 32 volumes of the Zervos catalogue raisonn of Picasso's oeuvre, 13 are devoted to the final 20 years of his life. One recurring subject for Picasso, during this period, is that of the artist and his model in the studio.
Hlne Parmelin recalled, "Picasso went wild. He painted the artist and his model. And from that moment on he painted like a mad thing, in a frenzy, as perhaps never before. From February to May 1963, in January, October, November and December 1964, and again in March 1965, paintings poured out one after another. In 1963 and 1964 he painted almost nothing else: the painter, armed with his attributes, palette and brushes, the canvas on an easel, mostly seen from the side, like a screen, and the nude model, seated or reclining, in a space which presents all the characteristics of an artist's studio: the big window, the sculpture on a stool, the folding screen, the lamp, the divan, etc. All these stage props have nothing to do with Picasso's real situation; he always painted without a palette and without an easel, directly onto a canvas laid flat" (quoted in M-L. Bernadac, "Picasso 1953-1972: Painting as Model", Late Picasso, London, 1988, p. 74).
Picasso painted numerous variations of this theme, sometimes the depicting model and easel, others the artist alone with his canvas and still others showing only the artist and model. "Picasso now chose to work with isolated figures, archetypes, and concentrated on the essential: the nude, the couple, man in disguise or stripped bare: it was his way of dealing with the subject of women, love, and the human comedy" (Bernadac, op. cit., p. 78).