Pablo Picasso: Vollard Suite

Posted on June 06, 2019 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE


As art world legend has it, Pablo Picasso’s most celebrated series of etchings, the “Vollard Suite,” began with a trade. In exchange for paintings by the Impressionist masters Paul C├ęzanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Picasso agreed to produce a series of 100 prints for his art dealer, Ambroise Vollard. Produced from 1930 to 1937, Picasso devoted this body of work to five main themes: 

The Battle of Love, The Sculptor’s Studio, Rembrandt, The Minotaur, and Portraits of Vollard. Though Vollard commissioned these prints, he died before the series was completed, which, along with World War II, delayed their release to the public until the 1950s.

A prolific and tireless innovator of art forms, Pablo Picasso impacted the course of 20th-century art with unparalleled magnitude. Inspired by African and Iberian art and developments in the world around him, Picasso contributed significantly to a number of artistic movements, notably Cubism, Surrealism, Neoclassicism, and Expressionism. 

Along with Georges Braque, Picasso is best known for pioneering Cubism in an attempt to reconcile three-dimensional space with the two-dimensional picture plane, once asking, “Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Responding to the Spanish Civil War, he painted his most famous work, Guernica (1937), whose violent images of anguished figures rendered in grisaille made it a definitive work of anti-war art. 

“Painting is not made to decorate apartments,” he said. “It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.” Picasso’s sizable oeuvre includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets, and costume designs.

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Vollard Suite (Suite Vollard)