PICASSO, “Two Dancers of the Russian Ballet,” 1940


Copperplate engraving 10 34 x 7 1/2 inches, on BFK Rives vellum paper 15 7/8 x 12 1 /8 inches

Two Male Ballet Dancers, from 14 Dessins Originaux gravés sur cuivre, 1940

1st edition published by Louis Grosclaude, Lausanne, #161/300


Pablo Picasso (Spanish 1881-1973)

In 1940 Picasso directly supervised compositions to be engraved on copper after a group of his original drawings during a 1940 visit to Monte Carlo for the season of Russian ballet with his wife, dancer Olga Kokhlova. It was shortly before his 60th birthday.  Picasso had been long fascinated by ballet, and had been introduced to Diaghilev by Jean Cocteau in 1916, leading to his first ballet commission for Parade (1917) a ballet with libretto by Cocteau, music by Erik Satie.  This is the first edition.  Each print is signed in the plate. Olga had been a principal in the Ballet Russe.

Additional prints from the first edition are available.