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Five-piece collection, Pablo Picasso

Five-piece collection, Pablo Picasso

N Inv.: CE1/10572-CE1/10576

Pablo Picasso donated this five piece ceramic collection to the museum after meeting Manuel González Martí in 1955 at an exhibition organised by the Sociedad Internacional de Cerámica (The International Ceramic Society) in Cannes. The collection consists of four dishes with different decorations (a bearded man’s head, two entwined fish, a fish, and a goat’s head) and a jug decorated with a masculine head.

Ceramics were one part of Picasso’s versatile artistic production. He began to use ceramics as a way of artistic expression in 1946 after the Second World War whilst living in Vallauris, a region in the South of France with a long-standing pottery tradition. He collaborated with the Madoura Pottery Workshop, particularly with its founder Suzanne Ramié. Over twenty years he created around 4000 pieces using earthenware clay, reinterpreting ancient modelling and decorating techniques. Ceramics was a way for Picasso to reunite with Mediterranean traditions embodied in mythological forms and motifs such as fauns, centaurs, athletes and animals (for example owls and fish).

The diversity of Picasso’s decorative techniques and artistic experimentation with ceramics is evident in this collection. Some of the pieces are moulded and the decoration is achieved with vitrified glazes and slips, in addition to incisions and reliefs in the clay to give greater strength and expression to the motifs.

On display in Sala de la cerámica de autor (Artists’ Ceramics Room), second floor.