Eroticism and an insatiable sexual curiosity were essential traits of Picasso's life and work from the time he was a young man through his old age. Nearing the age of 90, when he drew the present work, his sexual ability may have been diminished, but his interest in the compelling mystery of physical love grew only stronger, enriched--as it needed to be--by an element of voyeurism and the powerful wisdom of long experience. The intensity of his late drawings is both psychological, and the product of his unwavering virtuosity as a draftsman.
As is the case with many of Picasso's late nudes, the subject of this drawing is Jacqueline Picasso, whom the artist had known since 1953 and married in 1961. Picasso exposes her mercilessly to the leering gaze of the onlooker. Any discretionary notions concerning the privacy of physical intimacy have long been cast aside in Picasso's life; as artist and creator Picasso does not flinch transporting what is normally hidden and personal to the public stage of art. Indeed, in the narrowly defined social world of Picasso's final years, during which he was largely reclusive, sexuality and creativity became metaphors for each other; the boudoir, the studio and the world became one universal human drama, without boundaries, where nothing human is omitted.