Picasso Prints

By almost any standard, Picasso could be considered the most influential printmaker of the twentieth century. The majority of his vast graphic oeuvre of over two thousand unique images consists of intaglio prints that he scratched, scraped, gouged, or etched into a copper plate, before he switched to lithography and color relief printing later in his career. Working in close collaboration with some of the best master printers of his generation, Picasso vigorously explored technical innovations that not only fueled his graphic imagination but also expanded the possibilities of printmaking as an expressive art form.

The evolution of Picasso’s printed work closely follows his development as a painter. His earliest prints, from 1904–5, form a series of simple drypoints, depicting acrobats and street performers, that reflect the Symbolist, dreamlike aesthetic of his Blue and Rose Periods. In the 1920s, in the wake of his transformative Cubist period, Picasso expanded his graphic vocabulary to include color pochoirs (stencil prints), lithographs, and aquatints before returning to a wide variety of intaglio techniques in the 1930s, when he produced some of the most stunning prints of his career. In these allegorical compositions, Picasso engraved Surrealist-inspired meditations on the emotional life of the artist in politically tempestuous times, culminating in the enormous etching Minotauromachy, the artist’s printmaking masterpiece. After the war, he explored the creative possibilities of lithography, spontaneously drawn directly onto the stone, before discovering a novel form of linoleum cuts printed in color. Using a technique similar to woodcut, Picasso would recut a single linoleum-covered block for each color in the image, starting with the lightest color and ending with the darkest, and print them sequentially on the same sheet of paper.

Picasso’s combined passion for experimentation and printmaking throughout his career has left us with some of the most memorable images of any graphic artist in history.

Calvin Brown - Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings   

  • 10660
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    The Watering Place, 1905
    x1965-72
  • 14479
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    "Salome", 1905, printed 1913
    x1981-113
  • 5659
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Le Bain
    x1946-317
  • 10656
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    The Barbarous Dance, 1905
    x1965-68
  • 8991
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Les Saltimbanques
    x1952-143
  • 54951
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Published by Éditions des Quatre Chemins
    Tête de femme (Head of a Woman), 1925
    2007-122
  • 9453
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    La Lecture, 1925-26
    x1954-135
  • 5654
    after Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Still life in front of window
    x1946-316
  • 16348
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Figure, 1929
    x1985-49
  • 13021
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Four Nude Women and Sculptured Head
    x1975-101
  • 16330
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Seated Nude Surrounded by Studies of Beasts and Men (Nu assis entouré d'Esquisses de Bètes et d'Hommes), 1927
    x1985-48
  • 9688
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Sculptor and his Model (Le Repos du Sculpteur) from the Vollard Suite #64, 1933
    x1967-1
  • 37299
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    The Studio, 1927
    2000-1
  • 10372
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Blind Minotaur Led by Girl with Bouquet of Wild Flowers, 1934
    x1965-65
  • 18057
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Blind Minotaur Guided by a Girl in the Night, 1934
    x1991-375
  • 16133
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Printed by Roger Lacourière, French, 1892–1966
    La Minotauromachie (Minotauromachy), 1935
    x1986-104
  • 12507
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Printed by Roger Lacourière, French, 1892–1966
    Sueño y Mentira de Franco (Dream and Lie of Franco), 1937
    x1972-2
  • 10774
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Young Girl, 1949
    x1966-41
  • 10273
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    La Danse des Faunes, 1957
    x1960-94
  • 13914
    Pablo Picasso, Spanish, 1881–1973
    Printed by Hidalgo Arnéra, French, active mid-20th century
    Le Peintre à la Palette (Painter with Palette), 1963
    x1977-58