Pablo Picasso
7


Musketeer

Musketeers became a recurring theme in Picasso's art as he was recuperating after surgery in late 1965 (he was 84 at the time). With nothing much to do, he was then rereading his favourite literary classics – which included Alexander Dumas. Apart from that, Bernard Borderie's popular film "The Three Musketeers" was shown on TV at the time. These probably provided an inspiration for Picasso's subsequent works.

The newspaper headlines of the time are dominated by news of the war in Vietnam, of Soviet troops entering Czechoslovakia, of student riots in Paris; Picasso's musketeers provide an odd contrast. He seems to be absorbed in the romantic images of "good old days" – more a quixotic figure beyond normal space and time than the man who had once created the immortal "Guernica". But it's not as simple as that: through his musketeers, Picasso manages, once again, to translate his staunch pacifism into his work. The musketeers, sarcastically shown as puffed up with immense, ludicrous pride, provide a perfect illustration for the idea. The choice of the subject is significant: rather than an efficient military force, the musketeers have always been regarded as romantic figures and cult objects. Their anachronistic attire, feathered hats and the swords they carried – aren't these a fitting allusion to war itself being outdated and futile?

There is another opinion for this – but it doesn't quite contradict the former. Dakin Hart, the author of the essay "Peace and Love in Picasso", written in 2009 for a catalogue published by the Gagosian Gallery, described Picasso' musketeers as "members of a multinational, timeless army of hippies – sort of. Picasso chose Dumas' musketeers – free-thinking, neglecting military discipline, kind-hearted and full of humour – as ideal subjects for depicting a military counterculture. Picasso was fond of his musketeers, and often ascribed his own qualities to them".

As concerns the artistic technique used, seemingly quick and careless – Picasso's own words seem to be a best answer to this. He is quoted as saying that the process of creating a picture, as it transforms from one vision to another by the artist's own effort, is more important for him now than the finished result – even if not attained. "I am down to the stage", – he said, – "when the movement of my thought is of more interest to me than the thought itself".


Paintings

Pablo Picasso. Musketeer, 1967
Musketeer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Nude woman and musketeer, 1967
Nude woman and musketeer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer greenhouses hands, 1967
Musketeer greenhouses hands, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Man head (Musketeer), 1967
Man head (Musketeer), 1967
Pablo Picasso. Sitting Musketeer (Domenico da Silva Theotocopulos van Rijn), 1967
Sitting Musketeer (Domenico da Silva Theotocopulos van Rijn), 1967
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer and bare layer, 1967
Musketeer and bare layer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1967
Head musketeer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer and busts num-, 1967
Musketeer and busts num-, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1967
Head musketeer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Mousquetaire- bust, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Sitting Musketeer, 1967
Sitting Musketeer, 1967
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer pipe, 1968
Musketeer pipe, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer with pipe and flowers, 1968
Musketeer with pipe and flowers, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer with pipe, 1968
Musketeer with pipe, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer with pipe, 1968
Musketeer with pipe, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Bust Musketeer, 1968
Bust Musketeer, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer, 1969
Musketeer, 1969
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer sword sitting, 1969
Musketeer sword sitting, 1969
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer and love, 1969
Musketeer and love, 1969
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer with Dove, 1969
Musketeer with Dove, 1969
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1971
Head musketeer, 1971
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1971
Head musketeer, 1971
Pablo Picasso. Portrait of musketeer, 1971
Portrait of musketeer, 1971
Pablo Picasso. Three musketeers and naked in a intВrieur, 1972
Three musketeers and naked in a intВrieur, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer and two naked, 1972
Musketeer and two naked, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer (Male), 1972
Musketeer (Male), 1972
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1972
Head musketeer, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Man sitting leaning [Musketeer], 1972
Man sitting leaning [Musketeer], 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer, 1972
Musketeer, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Bust Musketeer, 1972
Bust Musketeer, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musician [Musketeer guitar], 1972
Musician [Musketeer guitar], 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer Bird II, 1972
Musketeer Bird II, 1972
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer II Head, 1972
Musketeer II Head, 1972

Graphics

Pablo Picasso. Musketeer cutting and lying naked, 1968
Musketeer cutting and lying naked, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Musketeer and courtesan, 1968
Musketeer and courtesan, 1968
Pablo Picasso. Head musketeer, 1969
Head musketeer, 1969
Pablo Picasso. The gallant musketeer, 1972
The gallant musketeer, 1972