lithograph printed from a zinc plate, Nature
morte au Livre,
4.1.1953 (Still life with book) was created January
4, 1953, one of three lithographs created that day.
At this time Picasso's relationship with Françoise Gilot was
deteriorating. Picasso was in Vallauris and spent time creating
lithographs of Balzac and daughter Paloma (born in 1949).
More geneological detail is here.
By September Françoise and
the two children leave Picasso and go to Paris. In the same
month, Picasso meets Jacqueline.
The lithograph was printed by Mourlot in a limited edition of 50
examples plus five
artist proofs. This is one of the artist proofs and is from the
Marina Picasso collection and bears her stamp on the back of the print
Note that the date and Vallauris is printed backwards at the top right
of the print. That is because when a lithograph is made,
the drawing on the plate is reversed when printed. Picasso
clearly wrote the village name and date correctly in the plate but was
not concerned that the plate when printed would reverse the appearance.
Mourlot was the famed printer at whose studio Picasso spent much time
learning and experimenting with the lithographic medium since
1945. In the next quarter century Picasso had created more than
800 lithographic images.
Norton Simon purchased more than 220 of Mourlot's Picasso lithographs