The Vollard Suite
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Recommend this exhibition
The Vollard Suite was produced between 1930 and 1937, originally ‘commissioned’ by Ambroise Vollard, the French picture dealer and print-publisher, who gave Picasso his first exhibition in Paris in 1901.
This set of prints, generally considered to be the most important cycle of Picasso’s etchings, was produced at a critical juncture in the artist’s career. It was a time when Picasso was re-engaging with sculpture and when the middle-aged artist had embarked upon a passionate affair with his young lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, who became his model and muse. Picasso offers no narrative in the series of prints, but allows the viewer to make connections freely between one plate and another.
Alongside the Vollard Suite, the British Museum is exploring the possibility of displaying Greek vases showing the prints in the context of classical art, which greatly inspired Picasso. Etchings by Rembrandt and Goya’s bull-fighting prints are also included to draw out the observable influence of the old master printmakers.