Picasso Linocuts from the British Museum

Acquired with support from the Art Fund in 2014, the prints evidence Picasso's exceptional abilities in linocut practice.


Picasso first began experimenting with linocuts in 1939, but it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that he fully embraced the technique. Traditionally the method involved cutting a separate block for each colour, but Picasso developed a way of cutting and printing from a single block. It saved huge amounts of time, but also presented tremendous challenges. The artist had to be able to visualise the completed image at an early stage, and it was impossible to reverse any mistakes made during the cutting process.

Portrait of Picasso with his wife Jacqueline © FORGET Patrick/SAGAPHOTO.COM / Alamy

Portrait of Picasso with his wife Jacqueline

On display here is a series of his most important prints, made when he was 80 years old. This is the first time they have been displayed outside of the British Museum.

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The exhibition offers an insight into the artist's revolutionary technique. For example a portrait of Picasso’s second wife Jacqueline Roque was created using two blocks; one defining the sitter’s head and bust tonally, the other cut to leave just her outline. The two prints superimposed to create the final work.

Meanwhile Still Life under the Lamp, is accompanied by nine proofs which show how Picasso progressively cut and printed from a single block to gradually build an image of increasing complexity.

Venue details

Lady Lever Art Gallery Port Sunlight Village Merseyside CH62 5EQ 0151 478 4136 www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Entry details

Free entry to all
Free exhibitions to all

Daily, 10am – 5pm

Closed 25 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan

Reviews (1)

  • Charles, Liverpool
  • 1 September 2016 - 20:28
  • While I’m generally not a fan of Picasso, I found this small exhibition rewarding and enlightening, coming to realise the ingenuity of the Artist in his discovering the means of colour lithographs on a single block. Wonderful to see close up the original Still Life under the Lamp, and its proofs.