16 rare examples of Pablo Picasso lithograph portraits go on show at a London gallery tomorrow.
The portraits, several of which depict Picasso’s mistresses, are some of the most interesting examples of the artist’s experiments with lithographic printing.
The majority of pieces were produced as successive stages of a print run and as such never intended for public display. They are resultantly highly sought after with prices ranging from £12,000 - £150,000.
Lithography, which involves etching a stone or metal plate and covering it in ink before pressing onto paper, was purportedly taken up by Picasso after he visited the Mourlot Studios print shop in Paris in the late 1940s and 1950s.
The exhibition includes ‘Femme Assise et Dormeuse,’ one of Picasso’s earliest Lithographs dating from 1947. Several versions of the piece exist, from “reserved” proofs to final numbered and signed editions.
All the portraits are of women, either in nude or in formal neo classical poses. His muses Francoise Gilot (‘Femme au Fauteuil No. 1 (2nd State)’, 1948) and Marie-Thérèse Walter feature heavily.
The exhibition will be at the Alan Cristea gallery on Cork Street from tomorrow until 21 April.