The model for lots 120 & 121 was Françoise Gilot, Picasso's lover and muse from 1943-1953. The painter's affair with the 21 year old coincided with a return to lithography at the end of 1945, after a 15 year break from the medium. Creatively inspired by his new romantic interest Picasso threw himself into an intensive period of experimentation, radically adapting traditional lithographic methods and inventing new ones. The artist quickly mastered the medium and in 1948 produced his great series Femme au Fauteuil, depicting Gilot seated in an armchair, wearing a coat he had bought for her on a visit to Warsaw. Picasso had intended to make a large lithographic portrait in five colours but was dissatisfied with the results of the colour printing. Abandoning his original idea he worked on the five zinc plates as distinct images, developing his subject through successive states and numerous proofs. Dramatically different in effect, each expresses something of what the photographer Brassaï, a close friend of ,
Picasso's, described as Françoise's 'freshness and restless vitality'.