It is not known where Picasso learned the
technique but in Barcelona at the very beginning of his career he made his first two etchings: El Zurdo’ (The left-handed Man), 1899 and Comida Frugal (Frugal
Meal), also known as ‘Elciego y su companera’ (The Blind Man and his Companion).From 1904 onwards he
continued to develop graphic techniques and thus all the stages and stylistic changes present in his other work are also evident in his prints. His graphic
work consists mainly of individual prints and independent series but there are
also a large number of book illustrations.
1905-1906: He produced his first monotypes together with a series of compositions for which he used
etching, drypoint and even wood engraving techniques.Between 1909 and 1915 cubism was evident in his boxwood engravings. He also made etchings to illustrate two books by Max Jacob: ‘Saint Hartorel'(1911) and ‘La Siege de Jerusalem’ (1914), both published in Paris by Kahnweiler 1919: He began to develop the lithographic technique.
1922-1923: He illustrated Lysistrata’ by Aristophanes.From 1927 to 1937 engrav-
ing almost became his principal activity making him into the most signific-
ant graphic artist of our century. He illustrated ‘Chezd’oeuvre inconnu’ by Bal-
zac (1927) for Limited Edition of New York, ‘The Metamorphoses’ by Ovid
for Skira and most important of all he created his greatest graphic work, ‘The Vollard Sute’ composed of one hundred prints (etchings, drypoints,aquatints, burin engravings)which he produced in the Lacouriere workshop.1937: He illustrated Natural History by Buffon where be achieved incredible effects in his points by using sugar, acids and resins After the Second World War he studied the lithographic process in depth developing the technique as much on stone as on zinc For the first time he applied colour in a series of etchings inspired by Gongora’s poetry 1949. He created his famous lithograph ‘Paloma’ for the Peace Congress.1959. He began lino printing in Arnera’s workshop in Vallauris where he produced posters as well as a series of prints on the subject of bull-fighting.
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