This lithograph is the cover for the illustrated book ‘Picasso Lithographe III’. It is a treasure: an irreverent, dynamic and playful part of Picasso’s oeuvre. The mischevious characters in this print enjoy raucous partying, music and nudity. Such behaviour is apt, considering that a ‘bacchanal’ is a wild shindig that would please the party god Bacchus, whose main remit is wine and fertility. From the edition of 2500.
The RA Shop have collaborated with Galerie Mourlot, New York, to present a collection of rare lithographic posters and prints from l’Atelier Mourlot, the most celebrated print shop of the 20th century.
Founded in Paris in 1852, l’Atelier Mourlot has been synonymous with fine art lithography for over 150 years. From 1930, under the direction of the founder’s grandson, Fernand Mourlot, leading artists were invited to the studio to collaborate on traditional limestone lithography. For painters like Picasso, the medium provided an exciting new form of expression.
Picasso met Fernand Mourlot in October 1945 after much encouragement from Henri Matisse and Georges Braque. As they predicted, Picasso soon became obsessed with the possibilites of lithography and amazed the Mourlot team with his artistic audacity and talent. He proceeded to make many innovative experiments on the limestones. He would stay at the Mourlot print workshop for several months at a time, 12 hours a day, and over the course of 20 years he created nearly 400 lithographs.
While the studio closed in 1999, today Fernand’s grandson Eric Mourlot continues the legacy of the print shop through Galerie Mourlot.