The recently discovered Picasso Images
shown here probably date from 1905.
Both pictures are mirror-images
on opposite sides of the same sheet of paper. This newly discovered single sheet of paper thus contains two
previously unknown Picasso renderings, of a very
famous Picasso image.
The two pictures are, in fact, identical
in subject matter and treatment to the famous "Famille
Arlequin" and were very probably completed
on the same day in March 1905. More to the point, the
basic ink composition for Famille Arlequin was,
most likely, completed at the very same instant, as
part of the same printing process.
The newly discovered monochrome print in red Conté
crayon (called a "sanguine" in French) which was created
in the printmaking process. See the whole
the reverse side, a pencil drawing shows us the image
Picasso originally drew. See the whole image
|][x][ There are several ironies. First, that
the image Picasso originally drew is a mirror image
of the more famous Picasso image "Famille Arlequin"
described as ink with guache. But "ink" does
not necessarily mean "pen and ink." See the whole image
the key to understanding the "Famille Arlequin" image
is to shift our thinking, to regard it as an "ink print,"
upon which Picasso painted in guache, rather than a
"pen and ink drawing", upon which he painted. Perhaps,
the key is to understand that the ink portion of the famous
"Famille Arlequin" image was probably created originally
from a print process, rather than directly from an ink drawing.
of course, was an expert in all forms of printing, and later
in his life, revolutionized the whole field of linocuts, or
block printing. For artists who engage in the various forms
of printing, the porcess of drawing in reverse, or in mirror
images, is a normal part of it. To such artists, drawing in
reverse is not something strange or unusual, and some artists
are fascinated by the whole concept of working with mirror
may be several more such two-sided images by Picasso
that have been languishing unrecognized. If you have a sanguine
conte drawing by Picasso, look on the back!
|Other such examples of this printmaking
by Picasso exist, in the Picasso Museo in Barcelona.
Also, the premier French newspaper Le Figaro, recently
published this example, the Horseman.
revolutionized the field of printmaking. The number of prints
of various kinds created personally by Picasso or closely
supervised by him soars to the scores of thousands. In his
later middle age, Picasso revolutionized the block
printing process, making block prints that astounded the art
world. "You can't make blockprints with so many different
shapes of different colors," was the response of the art world.
The genius, self-styled trickster, the harlequin clown himself,
Picasso said, "They are blockprints." There are numerous
books (serena create a link here) on this topic that
explain how Picasso revolutionized linocut and other printing
From the history of Picasso's life
in the 1904-5 period, we know that it was just a few months
prior to the probable composition date of this piece that
Picasso was encouraged by Ricardo Canals to
begin doing printing again. As we know also, Picasso
then did begin doing quite a few prints, mostly achieved through
etchings, which form a significant part of the Harlequin
Family or Medrano Circus (Cirque Medrano) phase
of his Rose period.
][x][ "Am I a
Picasso?" is the obvious question this piece of
paper asks. Did Picasso draw this image, thereby creating
an ink print and did he then paint on that ink print to create
the famous piece we know today as the "ink and guache"
image "Famille Arlequin?"
some aficionados of Picasso, the obvious answer is
we are still gathering opinions from the world of art experts,
museums and auction houses, whose reponse to authenticating
this piece, has been a considered "maybe," so far.
][x][ Confused ? Read more about
what this image tells us about Picasso's creative genius,
and the sanguine print
process on this web site.