Francoise on Grey Background/La Pique by Pablo Picasso
In 1946 at the invitation of Fernand Mourlot, Picasso spent an intense period of several months learning and ultimately re-inventing lithography. Unlike many artists of his generation familiar with printmaking, Picasso was never formally taught and relied heavily on his printers to navigate many of the technical problems that needed solving to produce what he wanted. Mourlot made the observation that "During this period Picasso exhausted the possibilities of the process". The lithographs he made at Mourlot were quickly disseminated and seen throughout Europe and the United States, where many artists for the first time saw the infinite creative possibilities and innovations possible with lithography.
With meticulous detail, Fernand Mourlot documented all the graphic works he printed for Picasso and created with Andre Sauret what is the arguably the most comprehensive publication of Picasso's graphic works printed at the Mourlot titled, Picasso Lithographie, with high quality color lithographs spanning the most critical, influential and historically important period of his lithography with Mourlot (1947-1963).
Picasso first met Francoise Gilot in a Parisian Cafe in 1943 during the height of the Nazi occupation of France. They commenced a permanent relationship in 1946. Her portrait with the signature circumflex of the right eyebrow (a feature that was first observed and suggested by Henri Matisse when he met Francoise) was a constant theme of his lithography when he started at the Mourlot in 1946.
Technical Details:Lithograph. Sheet size 12.5 x 9.5 inches. Picasso Lithographie Volume III, Andre Sauret, Monte Carlo, 1950. #1195