Picasso Lithographie 1949-1956

The third volume of Mourlot's documentation of Picasso's graphic work at his workshop (from 1949-1956) continues his reflection on his life situation and preoccupation at the time, including Francoise Gilot (his partner at the time who he first met in 1943) and their two children Paloma and Claude. 

Francoise's image continues to appear regularly in Picasso's lithography during this period (depicted her with a characteristic circumflex above her right eye brow) but by 1950 their relationship had begun to deteriorate. The portrait he rendered of her in 1950 would be completed with Francoise crying during the entire sitting.

His images of his children Paloma and Claude are some of the most powerful of the nuclear family rendered in modern art. His Paloma with Doll is a particularly rich modern portrayal and rendering.

As his fame as a printmaker spread he was invited to provide images for the politically important International Peace Conferences of the 1950's. His choice of the Dove turned out to be enormously influential and popular by art lovers and the public in general, catapulting his fame to new heights. 

His exploration of classical themes, in particular, La Femme Au Miroir and Le Chaveliar et la Page are additional glimpses into the creative process and mind of Picasso.

To have high quality images of the unpublished states using the same process of lithography by the same print workshop (as provided by Fernand Mourlot in this volume) gives us important insight into Picasso's thinking and creative process in a step by step fashion. Unlike oil on canvas where it is practically impossible to obtain photographs of the state before changes were made, printmaking provides this data in a tangible way, that is, the pulled lithographic proof that the artist uses as feedback and inspiration for new ideas and changes and that academics, collectors, curators and we as viewers can also use as a vital record of what was going through the mind of the artist during the very act of creation.

This process is readily apparent in the series in this volume. Thanks goes not only to Picasso and Francoise but also to Fernand Mourlot for carefully archiving and documenting this unprecedented and history making revival in modern printmaking and art.