In his late period (from about 1965 to his death in 1973), Picasso turned to printmaking with a vengeance - during a seven-month period in 1968 alone, he made nearly 350 prints! It was also a time when he looked back to the Old Masters. He was particularly interested in Rembrandt, the celebrated seventeenth-century Dutch painter and printmaker: Picasso had studied his etchings, and even projected slides of Rembrandt paintings onto his studio wall. It was a Hundred Guilder Print by Rembrandt that inspired this work, After Rembrandt: Ecce Homo
Picasso's version is a secular one, seeming to show a stage in a theater, filled with the people and characters that had been key players in his life and his art since his early days. With the way the images layer and blend into one another, it's almost as though memories were rushing back to him, all flooding in with a dreamlike simultaneity, as he looked back over his life.