Pierre Daix is considered an expert on Picasso which is why he was the first person that the pilot's representatives reached out to when the pilot was looking for authentication for the painting.
The letter he received back on April 15, 1981, was in no way what the pilot had expected.
Picasso: Life and Art - by Pierre Daix (1987-1993)
Pierre Daix's testimony of the Don Quixote has serious flaws... Flaws that he made public in his book.
IFAR questions Pierre Daix in 1993
Pierre Daix's claim that the drawing was done in his presence was incorrect. When he backpedaled for IFAR upon their confrontation of his discrepancies - he damaged his own credibility.
When IFAR pressed Mr. Daix about the discrepancy from his letter in 1981 to the pilot - having stated that Picasso made the drawing in my presence…. and then writing that Picasso made it while he waited in the park...Mr. Daix’s response was that while Picasso worked on the drawing he waited in the park until Picasso called him over to rejoin him, "he had added more details in front of me and he signed it and I waited with him for the ink of the drawing to be well dried before being able to roll it up in silk paper to take it away."
In his book - Pierre Daix also quotes Picasso as referring to the Don Quixote as a painting (not a drawing).
Pierre Daix states that the drawing was made for the 400th Anniversary of Cervantes - something which is absolutely not true. The publication in the magazine clearly states that it was done for the 350th anniversary of the publishing of the book by Cervantes. The only person who ever questioned the 350th anniversary was the pilot. The pilot made an argument that 1955 would more closely be the 400th anniversary of the character Don Quixote - even though the book never gave him an actual birth date - but said that he was around - or close to - 50 years old at the start of the book (being published in 1605 - making 1955 closer to the character's 400th anniversary.) But the pilot was the only one to make this argument. For Pierre Daix to write that it was done for the 400th anniversary of Cervantes(factually incorrect as Cervantes was born in 1547) shows that Pierre Daix was not only unsure about his recollection in his book - but that he was unsure enough about the testimony of the pilot - that he cross referenced the pilot's story into his retelling of the events.
Questions to Consider
- Why would Pierre Daix leave Picasso and go to the park to wait? Most claim that the drawing was something that Picasso did in less than 10 minutes - and Picasso was known for doing very quick drawings. How far away was this park?
- Clouzet - the person Daix was waiting with - was the same person who had been filming Picasso every day for the previous 2 months for a movie. If Picasso was showing off as Pierre Daix indicated in this book - why have them leave?
- If the pilot was some kind of master forger - someone who knew so much about Picasso as to know his whereabouts on specific dates, what type of paint he used, where to get a canvas that would be old enough to pass carbon dating tests, and to actually create a reproduction of the image - wouldn't he have known that the drawing was done for Pierre Daix?
- Why would he reach out to Pierre Daix asking him to authenticate a painting that was a replica of a drawing done specifically for Pierre Daix?
- Why would a person go to such incredible lengths to create a forgery if they had absolutely no idea of when the drawing was done, who it was done for, why it was done, or any of the details surrounding the drawing?