His Musketeers are an offshoot of the masculinity that still excites the old man, but it is difficult to regard them as self-portraits. They are instead his companions of adventures. The temperament of the male transcends time: Picasso compares the soldiers from Rembrandt's time with the hippies of the sexual revolution.
The art of Picasso becomes a wink of complicity with youth. For the first time, his theme is decidedly humorous. The French boys, always fans of Alexandre Dumas, are delighted. They do not consider the dominant red and gold of these paintings that also mark the artist's refusal to return to Franco's Spain. Art critics are skeptical, except Zervos.
Pablo combines his own styles within that series as he has done since the early 1930s. A decidedly cubist Mousquetaire à la pipe, oil on canvas 195 x 130 cm painted on March 5, 1969, was sold for $ 31M including premium by Sotheby's on November 6, 2013 from a lower estimate of $ 12M.
L'Homme à l'épée, oil on canvas 146 x 114 cm painted on July 25, 1969 during the preparation of the Woodstock festival, is undoubtedly a hidalgo. He is a bodyguard of the old artist in his approach to the new world. The face that is only slightly deformed outside the aggressive gaze is perhaps a tribute to Velazquez. On the following year, Picasso approves the choice of this picture for the poster of the exhibition of his most recent art in Avignon.
L'Homme à l'épée was sold for £ 7M including premium by Sotheby's on June 24, 2009. It is for sale by Christie's in New York on November 9, lot 20A, with a minimum price guarantee which was not disclosed, as usual in such a case.
SOLD for $ 22.6M including premium