The British Museum Acquires 19 Rare Picasso Prints

Shaunacy Ferro
Pablo Picasso, "The Rehearsal," 1954 © Succession Picasso/DACS 2016
Pablo Picasso, "The Rehearsal," 1954 © Succession Picasso/DACS 2016 / Pablo Picasso, "The Rehearsal," 1954 © Succession Picasso/DACS 2016

The British Museum is cementing its reputation as a major destination for Pablo Picasso fans. The London-based museum, which already holds more than 550 works by the Spanish-born artist, recently purchased 19 rare prints the artist made between the 1940s and 1950s, according to BLOUIN ARTINFO.

The museum’s goal is to fully represent Picasso’s work as not just a painter, but a print maker, showing off his skills in etching, lithography, aquatint, and linocut. Of the newly acquired works, 16 are linocut, a variation on woodcut using linoleum, and three are aquatint, a method that uses an etched copper plate to create a print that looks much like a watercolor.

Six of the mint-condition prints feature Picasso’s muse, Françoise Gilot, with whom he had two children. One of those works features a pregnant Gilot with their toddler son playing at her feet, while another is a moody black portrait of her only a few months before she left him. Also in the collection of 1955 aquatints is a portrait of Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s future wife. There are also portraits of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, a friend of Picasso’s and a major dealer of 20th century French art, especially for Cubist painters.

The purchase of the new prints (worth millions, according to The Guardian) “now stands us among the most important public collections of Picasso in the world,” the museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer, said in a press release.

The British Museum will display the new prints between January and March 2017. They’re also available to view by appointment in one of the museum’s study rooms.


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