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Trois Personnages nus Assis, 1966
Pencil and black crayon on paper
14 1/2 d x 21 1/4 w in
37 h x 54 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

Trois Personnages nus Assis is a delicate work on paper that depicts three seated nude figures. Produced during the last stage of Picasso’s career in 1966, a few years after Picasso married his second wife Jacqueline Roque, the drawing is uninhibited and expressive, characteristics of this period. Preoccupied with fecundity and virility, the female nude on the left sits fully exposed, while the two figures on the right cross arms over their bodies in attempt to preserve decency. The bodies are rendered with heavy and fluid lines against a shadowed background that articulates the boundaries between them. The composition is charged with energy and tension, even as the three figures are seemingly unengaged with each other. This drawing exemplifies the quality and drama of Picasso’s draughtsmanship, as well as his mastery of every artistic style.

The man’s face has similar features as Picasso’s many male portraits during this period, many of which are of bearded men. The face in Trois Personnages nus Assis is rendered with annotated looped lines for the cheeks, beard and hair. His eyes are dark orbs, characteristic of his many other faces of this time. 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).

Trois Personnages nus Assis is a pencil and black crayon on paper work is signed Picasso and dated Domingo 11.12.66 on the upper right.