Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Portrait de Jeune Fille, d'après Cranach le Jeune. II, 1958. Pablo Picasso’s most important graphic work, and arguably the most important color graphic produced by any artist.

PABLO PICASSO  (1881-1973)
Portrait de Jeune Fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune. II, 1958

Galerie Michael   •  March 12, 2019

Pablo Picasso’s most important graphic work, and arguably the most important color graphic produced by any artist.

The series of works, “Portrait de Jeune Fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune. II” are unanimously considered Picasso’s most complex and creatively important in the graphic medium. A powerful image evoking a blend of Cubism and classical portraiture, this series is Picasso’s most sought-after in the linoleum cuts medium.

Picasso started exploring the linoleum cut technique in 1953-4, with the printer Hidalgo Arnéra. He began by experimenting with making linoleum cuts in different colors on separate blocks, which he would then superimpose on the same sheet of paper. He first attempted “Portrait de Jeune Fille, d’après Cranach le Jeune. II” in two colors in July 1958, but the following day returned to the same subject with greater determination. Later, he made five different linoleum blocks – sepia, yellow, red, blue and black – to be laid on top of each other in that order. He then proceeded to print different proofs, in the process making two different states of the color blocks and three of the black in order to arrive at the final image. Picasso observed that when several colors are printed, one on top of another, a tactile, “painterly” quality results. Because of the complexity of the project, Picasso abandoned this style of linoleum cut production, moving forward with a more streamlined process, the “reduction method.”

This work is inspired by Lucas Cranach the Younger’s “Portrait of a Young Woman” 1564, currently located at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. The image was printed on a postcard sent to Picasso from his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

Galerie Michael is proud to offer selections from this magnificent series in our upcoming exhibition.

Additional proofs of this work can be found in the following museum collections:

  • Tate, United Kingdom
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • National Galleries, Washington D.C.
  • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena