Details — Click to read
The painter and model was one of Picasso’s preferred subjects over his entire career, but particularly during the last decade of his life. Picasso executed a series of paintings on that subject in 1963. There followed a number of “painter and model” etchings in 1965-1966. Finally, the subject was the central element in his 347 Series of etchings of 1968 and then in his 156 Series of 1969-1972. Since each of these works treats the same subject, but is very different one from another, these various “painter and models” are a perfect demonstration of the creative genius of this artist.
This and the other works of the 347 Series of 1968 were printed by Picasso, together with the technical help of master-printmaker Aldo Crommelynck. Crommelynck had been an assistant in the Paris print studio of Roger Lacourière (1892 – 1966), where Picasso had been executing intaglio prints in the 1940s. As Crommelynck tells the story (see: “Recollections on Printmaking with Picasso” by Aldo Crommelynck, pp. 13-17 in: Picasso – Inside the Image, edited by Jamie Cohen, Robert Hull Flemming Museum, U. of Vermont, 1995), he and Picasso one Friday were working together, when Picasso suddenly announced that he was leaving for the south of France and would be back on the following Tuesday. Picasso, however, never came back. Therefore, in 1963 Aldo Crommelynck and his brother Piero set up a printmaking studio in Mougins, not far from where Picasso then was living. The Crommelyncks became Picasso’s printers and in 1968, executed with him the entire 347 Series including this work.
The 347 Series was produced by Picasso over a period of seven months, from March 16, 1968 to October 5, 1968. During this period, Picasso gave up virtually all of his painting activity in order to devote his time and efforts completely to the production of the etchings in this series. With his passionate attachment to printmaking as an expressive medium, with his artistic genius and with his hands-on exploration of all techniques, Picasso has made extraordinary advances to be added to that history of experimental printmaking extending from Rembrandt and Goya to Degas and Villon.