A peculiar mixture of geographic necessity and artistic curiosity led Picasso, at the age of 78, to turn away from etching and lithography, hitherto his favourite means of graphic expression, and take up linocutting, a technique he had all but ignored. Although linocuts were to form a relatively small part of Picasso's output as a printmaker (approximately 150 images from a total exceeding 2000), he was to produce some of his most oustanding compositions by this method, in a short burst of activity from 1958 to 1963.
Working with the help of a young printer from Vallauris named Arnèra, he worked on an interpretation of Lucas Cranach the Younger's 'Portrait of a Young Girl', inspired by a postcard of the subject went to him by Daniel Henry Kahnweiler. The resulting work is the most important of the artist's colour linocuts and is a virtuoso performance, using incredibly complicated technical skill to create an image of striking vitality.
This impression is dedicated to the celebrated photographer David Douglas Duncan. It was Robert Capa who first suggested to his fellow photojounalist to make contact with Pablo Picasso. From Duncan's first photograph of the artist in his bath in La Californie in 1956, it was clear that their relationship would be a remarkable one. One of the few people privileged have unlimited access to Picasso's studios and homes, Duncan took 10.000 photographs over a 17 year period until Picasso's death. Duncan's images are intimate and spontaneous and constitute a fascinating photographic diary of the artist's everyday life.