Pablo Picasso - Françoise
Lithograph on wove paper with watermark "Arches" 59.4 x 48.7 cm (65.6 x 49.9 cm) Framed under glass. Signed and numbered. Proof 7/50. - The paper evenly slightly browned in former mat opening, to the deckle edges with narrow light-stain.
In a single day, on 14 June 1946, Picasso created a series of 10 large-format lithographs that have become famous; each depicts his companion Françoise Gilot in full face (Mourlot 38-47; Bloch 396-403). He had met the young painter in 1943 and her features are present in lithographic works by Picasso from 1945 onwards. All ten portraits were created on lithographic paper and were transferred to the stone. In this process the same stone was used and was ground off anew for each lithograph (cf. Güse, op. cit.).
Françoise Gilot recalled the preceding portrait drawings: “Pablo stood two to three metres away from me with a tensed and enraptured facial expression. He did not take his eyes off me for a second. He did not touch his sketchbook and did not even have a pencil in his hand yet. Finally he said: 'Now I see what I have to do.' [...] The next day Pablo began drawing a series of drawings of me in this pose from memory. Then a series of eleven lithographs of my head appeared [the 10 lithographs of 14 June as well as the lithograph 'Françoise en soleil', which was created one day later]. He added a tiny birthmark under my left eye to each of them, and he drew my right eyebrow in the form of a circumflex.” (cited in: Françoise Gilot/Carlton Lake, Leben mit Picasso, Munich 1965, p. 113).
List of works
Mourlot 40; Bloch 396
Acquired in the 1950s in the Parisian art trade; since then in family possession
Ernst-Gerhard Güse, Die Lithographien Pablo Picassos, in: Pablo Picasso. Die Lithographien, exhib.cat. Kunsthalle Bremen i.a., Stuttgart 1988, p. 11-18