In the summer of 1946, Picasso was in love. Françoise Gilot, whom he had met in 1943, came to live with him in April and thus came to share his life. In July, Picasso and Françoise had left for Ménerbed, staying at the house Picasso had bought for Dora Maar, and a few weeks later they moved on to Cap d'Antibes where they stayed with Marie Cuttoli, a patron of the arts and collector. In early August, they moved on to Louis Fort's at Golfe Juan. It was there, in August 1946, that Picasso met Romuald Dor de la Sourchère, the curator of the Antibes museum, located in the Grimaldi palace. He offered Picasso space in the museum for painting. Picasso instead decided to decorate the museum itself. He intensively worked for two months and decorated the walls with 22 panels. The subjects range widely and amongst the themes are the sea, locals people, the Arcadian and Ulysses and the sirens. The wall decoration became known as the Antipolis series after the ancient Greek name for Antibes. Shortly afterward, the museum renamed itself and became the Musée Picasso.
The wallpaintings in the museum with their Joie de vivre quality reflect the artist's happiness with Françoise. Satyr, Centaur and Faun are elements which not only feature prominently in the decorations of the museum walls, but also in his paintings and works on paper of the time, as in the present work.
The subject matter of Arcadia and its inhabitants (fauns, satyrs, centaurs), embodies Picassos exhilaration and excitement about his new love, impending fatherhood (Françoise became pregnant in August) and most importantly his regained freedom after years of war. Picasso's pictures and works on paper from this period thus combine the classical Mediterranean tradition with a new vision, both childlike and complex.