Pablo Picasso - Tête D'Homme (LE 14 AOÛT 1969)
Tête D'Homme (LE 14 AOÛT 1969)
Pen and ink drawing on brownish card 23 x 17.5 cm Framed under glass. Dated 'le 14.8.69' upper left, signed 'Picasso' in pencil below. On the verso, filling the format, the drawn date. - Minor superficial traces of compression and folding on the recto of the evenly browned card in the left corners, the right corners minimally bumped. Overall in fine condition.
There is a host of portraits by Picasso from these late years; the best-known of them are his “portraits imaginaires”, sometimes humoristic, sometimes grotesque, exaggerated presentations and interpretations of human physiognomy and its expression. Embellished with a plethora of decorative elements citing historical costumes, they conjure up the magnificence and grandeur of a pre-revolutionary era. This portrait of an unbearded man facing the viewer seems to be in a different and much less exaggerated style. Picasso includes the date, something that accompanies and documents the artist's intense, almost serial production in these years. Though sketched with just a few angular lines the gaze that meets us from this striking head is both alert and intelligent, the mouth is resolute and narrow, on his forhead the bushy brows are raised in a concentrated manner. A loose shirt open at the neck presents him as both virile yet unpretentious. The associations remain open as to whether he might not be a type from the 18th or early 19th century... the backside of the drawing repeats the date, filling the format, with graceful delicacy. Picasso delights in playing with artistic elements and almost casually manages to provide for the perpetual amusement of the observer and connoisseur.
Zervos Vol. 31, 377 with illus. p. 109
Private possession, North Rhine-Westphalia; Lempertz auction 822, modern art, International Auctioneers, 4 June 2002, lot 12; Private collection, Rhineland; To be sold on behalf of the Verein der Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museums und des Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Düsseldorf 1980 (11. Westdeutsche Kunstmesse) (frame label verso)