Original lithograph printed in four colors (blue, violet, black, green) on wove paper bearing a portion of the block letter Arches watermark. Hand-signed in pencil lower right Picasso, also signed on the stone in the image lower left. A fine impression, from the deluxe edition of 50, numbered in pencil lower left (apart from the unsigned and unnumbered book cover edition of 1000). Commissioned and published by Berggruen Co. Paris, as the cover illustration for the catalogue to the exhibition ”Dessins d'un demi-siècle.”
Printed by Fernand Mourlot, Paris. It was Tristan Tzara who took Heinz Berggruen to Picasso's atelier on rue des Grands Augustins and introduced the two men. This meeting took place in 1950, just a few months before the exhibition of the book De mémoire d'homme at Berggruen's gallery in February-March 1951. In 1954, in conjunction with the exhibit ”Dessins 1903-1907,” Beggruen issued his first publication on Picasso (with a preface by D.H. Kahnweiler). In 1956 on the occasion of the exhibition ”Dessins d'un demi-siècle”, he published another small book, in which 22 drawings from the years 1903 to 1954 were presented. In the preface, Maurice Jardot compares Picasso's drawings with those of Matisse; with the former it is”an ardent rush forward”, but with the latter, a striving ”if not to complete perfection, at least to full accomplishment.” For the cover of this little book, Picasso made a color lithograph. It is divided into two parts: The part used to decorate the front depicts a bacchanalian scene, the back shows the head and bearded face of a man. The double subject recall the cover the artist made for the catalogue raisonné volume Picasso lithographe III.