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Vintage lithograph from Pablo Picasso's La Comedie Humaine Suite

Vintage lithograph from Pablo Picasso's La Comedie Humaine Suite

Code: 11329


Vintage lithograph from Pablo Picasso's La Comedie Humaine Suite. Framed with perspex.

Date: 1954

Untitled but date on the image


Paper size: 35.5 x 26.5 cm

Image size: 32.0 x 24.0 cm

Frame size: 46.0 x 38.0 cm

Printed on wove paper

Publisher Atelier, Mourlot, Paris

Despite the age, this vintage lithograph is in excellent condition and the colours remain fresh, vivid and vibrant

A long-time admirer of the work of Honoré de Balzac, the great 19th century French realist playwright and novelist, Pablo Picasso referred to the author’s works on numerous occasions throughout his career. (At one point he even rented the apartment in Paris that was the setting of Balzac’s 1845 novel The Unknown Masterpiece. )

In 1954, on coming to know of Picasso’s interest in Balzac, the publisher Tériade commissioned him to create a series of illustrations depicting scenes from the writer’s greatest work, La Comédie Humaine.

It is a monumental collection of 137 interlinked short stories, novels and essays which depicts life in the Bourbon Restoration period after the French Revolution and addresses themes such as money, power, social success, maternity, paternity and women, society and sex. The stories take place in a variety of locations, but some characters are interlinked and feature in more than one story.

Tériade dedicated an entire issue of his revue magazine, Verve to Picasso’s response to this work, Verve 29 %26 30

Picasso created a suite of 180 drawings and a set of twelve colour lithographs after works in coloured crayon to interpret the stories of La Comédie Humaine. For the printing, Picasso employed the expertise of the renowned lithography studio Atelier Mourlot in Paris, where the prints were made under the artist’s direction in a limited edition of 1,500.

It was a laborious process with new blocks prepared by hand for each colour of the vibrant drawings, yet the lithographs have a wonderfully spontaneous quality despite the technical labour that went into their making.

Maker : Pablo Picasso
Condition : Very good
Origin : Japanese
Manufacture Date : 1954