In Picasso's universe, the musketeer could be a painter, musician, smoker, or voyeur, but never a fighter. Picasso's dashing soldiers of fortune are ultimately absurd, cartoonish figures whose amorous exploits are more comically libidinous than the sexually predatory behaviors of some of the artist's previous male incarnations. In this composition the expansive figure of the musketeer takes center stage, while the nude at his side seems incidental. Nearly all the musketeers Picasso painted in the two months leading up to this work are single, centralized figures, similarly attired, usually cross-legged, and smoking long clay pipes.
Inscription: Signed upper right: Picasso; dated on verso in orange paint, upper left 30.11.68
[Galerie Louise Leiris (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, until 1969; sold in August 1969 to Loria]; [Jeffrey Loria & Co., New York, 1969–70; sold in January 1970 to Levine]; A. L. and Blanche Levine, Verona, New Jersey and Palm Beach, Florida (1970–81; their gift to MMA)
Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Picasso: The Last Decades," November 9, 2002–February 16, 2003, no. 35 (as "Seated Musketeer and Standing Nude").
Vienna. Graphische Sammlung Albertina. "Picasso: Malen gegen die Zeit," September 21, 2006–January 14, 2007, no. 72.
Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Picasso: Malen gegen die Zeit," February 2–May 8, 2007, no. 72.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010.
Lisa Mintz Messinger in20th Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Vol. 2, Painting: 1945-1985. New York, 1986, pp. 42–43, ill. (color, overall and detail), calls it "Seated Musketeer and Standing Nude".
William S. Lieberman in20th Century Art: Selections from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Vol. 2, Painting: 1945–1985. New York, 1986, calls it "Seated Musketeer and Standing Nude".