This Tête d'homme barbu signed 'Picasso' (upper left), dated '5.6.65.II' (on the reverse) is an oil on canvas measuring 18 1/8 x 15 in. (46 x 38.1 cm).
It was last sold in June 2007 by Christie's for 423,200 GBP in London (839,206 dollars at the time) but it reached yesterday 3rd of February 612,450 GBP (884,000 dollars at current exchange price)in an auction sale by Sotheby's. American and European investors can clinch very good deal given the current situation of the British Pound vs. the dollar and the Euro.
Sotheby's had conservatively estimated the picture between 350,000 and 450,000 GBP. Picasso (1881-1973) painted several bearded men. One of the few men that Picasso regularly saw in his final years was his chauffeur Maurice Bresnu, who joined the Picasso household with his wife in early 1965. He served Picasso to the end of the artist's life and assisted his widow Jacqueline thereafter.
Tête d'homme barbu belongs to a series of paintings of busts and heads executed in Mougins in late May and June 1965, several of which share the same Bresnu-like characteristics of the beard and tight black curls. Picasso's overriding preoccupation in this series seems to be the simplification of form, and his ability to portray both features and the individual with a few choice brushstrokes is superbly conveyed. Or maybe it is just that his talent was weaning out, his patience for hard work slowing down or his appetite for quick money unrelenting.