Picasso turned the youth in the drawing hanging nearby into the weather-beaten old man seen in this painting. Given the artist's predilection for the sexual and the macabre, and as an astute reader of Freud, he was perhaps poking fun at those who, late in life, revert to childlike pleasures or seek substitutes for erotic ones.
Signature: Signed and dated, upper left: 20A38 / ¦Picasso¦
[Galerie Käte Perls, Paris, and Perls Galleries (Klaus and Frank Perls), New York, 1938; acquired from the artist]; Walter P. Chrysler, New York and Warrenton, Virginia (by 1939–50; sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, February 16, 1950, no. 16, sold for $5,100, to Bragaline); Edward A. Bragaline, New York (1950–at least 1963); [E. V. Thaw & Co., New York, ca. 1983]; Wendell Cherry, Louisville, Kentucky (ca. 1984); [Acquavella Galleries, New York, until 1985; sold on February 14, 1985 to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1985–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 208).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth-Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 232).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 27–August 1, 2010.