El Blog del museo Picasso de Barcelona

The thousand faces of Jacqueline Picasso

On the occasion of the exhibition “Picasso ceramics. Jacqueline’s gift to Barcelona” the museum presents a selection of prints that bear witness to the relation of the artist and the muse.

Jacqueline with black scarfPortrait of a woman II
Jacqueline with black scarf. Picasso, 1959. Lithography: lithographic crayon on zinc, printed on paper
Portrait of a woman II. Picasso, 1955. Lithography: lithographic crayon, with frottage, on transfer paper, transferred to stone, printed on paper

Just a few months after meeting each other, Jacqueline entered the artistic world of Picasso and, little by little, her image became one of the main leitmotifs of his production.

In January 1955, the figure of Jacqueline emerged in the printed work of Picasso in a series of plates dedicated to the variations of Les Femmes d’Alger and a bust in drypoint, which were sporadically followed by a few portraits.  But it wasn’t until the end of that year that the presence of Jacqueline would take on a special relevance.

Jacqueline reading

Jacqueline reading. Picasso, 1958. Lithography: lithographic crayon, wash drawing, needle, sandpaper on zinc, printed on paper

The first series of portraits, produced between 1955 and 1959, includes a series of lithographs that represent Jacqueline, either full face or three quarter views, in a serene and concentrated attitude. These portraits are a magnificent culmination to the lithographic work started in 1945 in the Atelier Mourlot. In his practice of lithograph, the artist got involved in all production phases, from the drawing on the stone to the control of the first print runs.  He used all types of plates (stone, zinc, transfer paper) and tried out all the traditional techniques (grease pencil, pen and ink, or ink and wash), at the same time as introducing new materials that led to renewing old artistic practices.

Jacqueline with flowered hatJacqueline with coloured straw hatJacqueline with flowered hat II
Jacqueline with flowered hat. Picasso, 1962. Linoleum cut: etched with a gouge, in two colours, on linoleum, printed on paper
Jacqueline with coloured straw hat. Picasso, 1962. Linoleum cut: etched with a gouge and a penknife, in three colours, on linoleum, printed on paper
Jacqueline with flowered hat II. Picasso, 1962. Linoleum cut: etched with a gouge, in eight colours, on linoleum, printed on paper

In 1959, once he had definitively settled down in the south of France, Picasso distanced himself from lithographic production. The encounter with the printer Arnéra de Vallauris encouraged him to print on linoleum, starting up a fruitful period of collaboration and technical innovation that ended up in the form of a magnificent series of portraits full of colour. To achieve a good chromatic quality, Picasso created the linoleum method of linocuts, which was to be his major contribution to this type of printing.

Head of a woman in a hat with tasselsJacqueline

Head of a woman in a hat with tassels. Picasso, 1962 [?]. Linoleum cut: etched with a gouge and a penknife, in five colours, on linoleum, printed on paper
Jacqueline. Picasso, 1962. Linoleum cut: etched with a gouge, and a scraper, in three colours, on linoleum, printed on paper

This presentation will be open until February 2013.

Malén Gual
Curator of the collection

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