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Fumeur, 1969Crayon and felt tip on brown paper 11 5/8 d x 9 5/8 w in 29.5 h x 24.5 w cm
I do not believe that I have used radically different elements in my various styles. If a given subject calls for certain means of expression, I make use of those means without hesitation. I never have experimented. Every time I have something to say, I have said it in the way which I myself have felt to be best. Different motives require different methods. This implies neither evolution nor progress, but only an agreement between the idea that one wishes to express and the means of expressing that particular idea.
-the artist quoted in R. Stanley Johnson, Pablo Picasso, Works on Paper, Chicago, 2004, p. 6
Fumeur is a crayon and felt tip on brown paper drawing of a man smoking a pipe. The colorful composition is from Picasso’s last stage of his life, when he created a group of expressive and uninhibited figurative men. Many are images of bearded men smoking and others are evolutions of the theme of painters and his model. The face of the Fumeur, the smoker, is rendered with annotated marks for his beard and looped lines for hair and smoke. His nose, lips, and hand are an opaque pink, and his eyes are dark orbs, characteristic of his many other faces of this period. Picasso was inspired by the direct vision of children’s drawings, but also referred to Old Master works and his own father, incorporating his own features into his drawings. 'Every time I draw a man, I find myself thinking of my father,' Picasso confessed. 'To me, a man means "Don José," and it will always be so, all my life... He wore a beard... All the men I draw I see more or less with his features'. (Picasso, quoted in M.-L. Bernadac, 'Picasso 1953-1972: Painting as Model', pp. 49-94, Late Picasso: Paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints 1953-1972, exh.cat., London & Paris, 1988, p. 94n).