Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)



Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Bouquet of Peace (150/200), 1958
Color Lithograph on Arches Paper
25.50 x 18.50 in
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Pablo Picasso's lithograph "Bouquets of Peace" is a profound and poignant artwork that captures the essence of human unity and tranquility. Created in 1950, this piece is a testament to Picasso's ability to convey deep emotions and universal themes through minimalistic yet powerful imagery. The bouquet forms a bond between two individuals symbolized by the two hands displayed within the piece. In discussing this image Foster states, “In this peace poster, Picasso has substituted flowers for the dove.  By the use of hands grasping the stems of the flowers, he indicates the importance of brotherhood and amity as necessary elements of peace.” (Foster, 1964, pg. 33)

This artwork, though simple in its composition, resonates with a timeless message of harmony and hope.  Encircling the flowers are two sets of hands, suggesting that peace is something that must be nurtured and worked toward collectively.  The hands themselves are a universal symbol, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers to convey a message of human solidarity, compassion and connectivity.

The background of the lithograph is stark and unadorned, emphasizing the central figures and enhancing the artwork’s overall impact. The simplicity of the background draws the viewer’s focus entirely to the hands the flowers, reinforcing the importance of the subject matter. This minimalist approach is a hallmark of Picasso's later works, where he often used fewer elements to convey more profound messages. The lack of background detail also suggests an infinite space, implying that the pursuit of peace is boundless and eternal.

"The Hands of Peace" was created during a time of great political and social upheaval. The aftermath of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War period were marked by a pervasive longing for peace and stability. Picasso, a known advocate for peace and a member of the Communist Party, often used his art to comment on contemporary issues and to promote his vision of a harmonious world. This lithograph, in particular, serves as a poignant reminder of the artist’s commitment to these ideals.

Created by Picasso for the peace demonstration held in Stockholm, July 16-22, 1958.This work is printed on heavy wove paper by Schuster, Paris and is hand signed by Pablo Picasso (Malaga, 1881 - Mougins,1973) in pencil in the lower right margin; also signed and dated in the stone in brown in the lower right Picasso | le 1.4.58 and numbered from the edition of 200 in pencil in the lower left margin.  Reference: CW.130.



Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

The work of Picasso, which comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years, is described in a series of overlapping periods. 

 

His first notable period, the “Blue Period”, began shortly after his first Paris exhibit. Picasso painted in blue tones to evoke the melancholy world of the poor while he was mourning the death of his good friend Cassegemas. The following "Rose Period" in which he often depicted circus scenes, coincides with his first commercial success and his first serious romance with Fernande Olivier.

 

 In 1907, Picasso painted the groundbreaking work "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon", which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human form, broke from previous European art. In Cubism, which is divided into two phases, analytical and synthetic, Picasso and Braque established the modern principle that artwork need not represent reality to have artistic value. 

 

Picasso and Braque’s Cubist experiments also resulted in the invention of several new artistic techniques, including collage. 

 

After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. In 1937, this trend culminated in the masterpiece Guernica, a monumental work that evoked the horror and suffering endured by the Basque town of Guernica when it was destroyed by German war planes during the Spanish Civil War. 

 

Picasso remained in Paris during the Nazi occupation but was fervently opposed to fascism and after the war joined the French Communist Party. Picasso’s work after World War II is less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and enjoyed commercial and critical success. He produced fantastical works, experimented with ceramics, and painted variations on the works of other masters in the history of art. 

 

Known for his intense gaze and domineering personality, he had a series of intense and overlapping love affairs in his lifetime. He continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the age of 91. 

 

Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) 

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822 E Las Olas Blvd
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822 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
USA
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