Since the days of ancient Rome, Vallauris, in the south of France, has been known for its fine clay
and pottery. It has
attracted artists and craftsmen from France and abroad eager to work in its exceptionally pure clay.
In 1946, while attending an exhibition of pottery making in Vallauris, Picasso met Georges and Suzanne
proprietors of the Madoura ceramics workshop. After observing their potters at work, Picasso sat at
bench, and enthusiastically created his first three ceramic figures.
The infinite creative possibilities of ceramics that combined drawing, painting and sculpture so
excited Picasso that he
returned to the Madoura workshop the next summer with sketches for new pieces, the first of many unique
was to create over the next 27 years.
So passionate about his new medium of expression, Picasso put
aside the painters life in Paris for the potters life in Vallauris. Working briskly and
instinctively, Picasso amazed the
craftsmen around him who believed his bold treatment of materials and creative experiments were so unusual
thought them bound to fail in the firing. But to the surprise of all, Picassos daring experiments
with shaping unbaked
clay, applying unusual glazes, slips and metal oxides, produced brilliant results.
Soon he was deftly modeling graceful women, whimsical doves, owls, bulls, fauns and centaurs. He
platters and tiles with scenes of women, animals, bullfights and other favorite themes from his painting
Picassos ceramics were so unique and exciting, they sparked an enduring interest in the art
of ceramics. The exhibitions
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Royal Academy of Art in London confirmed that
work of Picasso is a true art form, equal in imagination, originality and execution to his paintings,