Luncheon on the Grass

Pablo Picasso
Spanish, 1881–1973
Luncheon on the Grass, after Manet
Color linoleum cut on paper
Collection of Catherine Woodard and Nelson Blitz, Jr.
© 2017 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Picasso found the process of using different linoleum blocks for each color cumbersome. For this reason, he collaborated with the printer Hildago Arnéra to adopt a process known as the reduction linocut. In this process Picasso successively cut more and more away from just one or two linoleum blocks after each color was printed by Arnéra. This reduction method required an extraordinary feat of visualization. The artist had to picture the final image with precision, as each state was definitive and could not be changed or reworked later. This series of linocuts presents a unique perspective on the artist’s and printer’s processes; each print in the series eventually combined to create the final linocut. The subject of the print is modeled after Édouard Manet’s 1863 painting Luncheon on the Grass (Paris, Musée d’Orsay).