A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. “Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.
It was not unusual for a 20th century master artist such as Picasso, Miro, Chagall or Matisse to have taken a page from a beautiful coffee-table book published about their work or a wonderful original lithograph, sign the page and then give them as gifts to visiting students, museum VIP’s, or friends dropping in at the studio for a visit. A rare selection of these pages made their way to the book stalls of Montmarte, Paris by the mid 70s.
This original Linoleum cut print, hand signed by Pablo Picasso, was to commemorate the opening of a 1955 exhibition in the town of Vallauris located along the Cote d’Azur in Southern France where Picasso lived from 1948 until 1955, during which time he created a great many sculptures and learned the techniques of pottery and ceramics.