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Spring Online Edition, May 14 - 28, 2021

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Frederick Mulder Ltd

+44 20 7722 2105

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Established in 1971, Frederick Mulder Ltd specialises in original European printmaking from 1470-1970 and is one of the world's foremost dealers in the prints of Pablo Picasso and other Modern masters such as Edvard Munch and Henri Matisse. Based in London, our clients include major museums such as MOMA and the British Museum as well as private, institutional and trade clients. Our expertise is dependable; our director, Anne-Françoise Gavanon has been commissioned by French museums to write catalogue essays for their Picasso exhibitions.

Image:

Detail of 'Jacqueline lisant' by Pablo Picasso

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Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) is considered the most prolific engraver of the 20th century, having created over 2,400 prints over his lifetime, out of which 197 are linocuts. The artist pushed the technical and artistic possibilities of linocut, a medium typically associated with commercial printing and education, to their limits. By revealing its refinement and subtleties, Picasso affirmed the medium as an art in its own right.

The linocuts shown here have been selected not only to illustrate Pablo Picasso’s journey in linocut, but also for their rarity. The majority only exist in one or a few impressions, and the list of works at the end has been chronologically organised so as to create a visual map of Picasso’s linocut adventure.

I am offering some examples of the very first subjects Picasso created between 1954 and 1958, with in particular 'Profil de Jacqueline I, II, III, IV' that I am delighted to briefly discuss in the video below. I have tried to make it as if you were on our stand - no sleek filming, just the linocut, you and me.

I then have the privilege to offer an impression of the registration plate, or the so-called black plate, of 'Portrait de jeune Fille, d'après Cranach le Jeune. II' made in 1958. Although it is the most sought-after linocut by Picasso and one of the artist’s top five prints, Picasso found the process of making it quite tedious. It consequently spurred him to work with the reductive technique. The artist did not invent the reductive technique as recorded in most of the literature, but he learnt it from his young linocut printer, Hidalgo Arnéra, from the Archives of whom many of our impressions come from, so an impeccable provenance.

Our progressive set of 'Le Banderillero' of 1959 is an important group for understanding the reductive technique and illustrates how Picasso, with the close involvement of his printer, worked his way in linocut towards a finished image. The group contains five impressions printed respectively from the first, second, third and fourth and final state. It is a wonderful ensemble that allows us to follow Picasso’s creative methodology and the Master at work.

Finally, 'Jacqueline lisant' of 1962 - certainly of my favourite subjects from all Picasso linocuts. This set of five impressions illustrates a turning point for the artist, he decides to represent relief and volumes in linoleum, which is a material that lends itself to flatness! Using a grattoir, Picasso produced a crosshatching effect, directly inspired from the intaglio technique, giving a sculptural dimension to his composition. Picasso used two blocks, one for the sculpted rendition of the subject, which is all delicacy and finesse, the other for the strong and simplified outlines of the figure as shown here. He developed the idea from lithography, where a block is dedicated to the subject and another (or several others) to colour. And he finally asks his printer to print the outline block over the modelling block, et voilà ! I personally love the intermediary state of the Jacqueline outline, which is so in tune with the artistic trends of the 1960s; Pop Art indeed!

I hope you will enjoy this brief tour of Picasso’s journey in linocut, and please do feel free to contact me.

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Frederick Mulder Ltd - Picasso's journey in linocut

Pablo Picasso

Profil de Jacqueline I, II, III, IV

1956

67.5 x 50.2 cm

Linocut

Archives Imprimerie Arnéra

No edition; only two impressions known

$65,000

Pablo Picasso

Portrait de jeune Fille, d'après Cranach le Jeune. II

1958

64.2 x 53 cm

Linocut

Archives Imprimerie Arnéra

Registration plate or 'black plate' of the most sought-after Picasso linocut

Price on Application

Pablo Picasso

Le Banderillero

1959

52.5 x 63.8 cm

Linocut

Archives Imprimerie Arnéra

Progressive set of five impressions

$75,000 for the complete set

Pablo Picasso

Couple debout

1959 - 1961

62 x 75 cm

Linocut

Archives Imprimerie Arnéra

No edition; only two impressions known

$25,000

Pablo Picasso & Hidalgo Arnéra discussing proofs

Pablo Picasso

Jacqueline lisant

1962

75 x 62 cm

Linocut

Private Collection

Progressive set of five impressions

Price on Application

Pablo Picasso

Profil de Jacqueline I, II, III, IV

67.5 x 50.2 cm

Linocut

No edition; only two impressions known

$65,000

Pablo Picasso

Portrait de jeune Fille, d'après Cranach le Jeune. II

64.2 x 53 cm

Linocut

Registration plate or 'black plate' of the most sought-after Picasso linocut

Price on Application

Pablo Picasso

Le Banderillero

52.5 x 63.8 cm

Linocut

Progressive set of five impressions

$75,000 for the complete set

Pablo Picasso

Couple debout

62 x 75 cm

Linocut

No edition; only two impressions known

$25,000

Pablo Picasso

Jacqueline lisant

75 x 62 cm

Linocut

Progressive set of five impressions

Price on Application