Artefact Culture memories

Artefact 54

Hand with Flowers

We have a Picasso brightening up our downstairs loo. Doesn’t everyone?

This lithograph by Pablo Picasso, called Hand with Flowers, was created on 21 April 1958 which makes it 65 years old #OnThisDay.

Ours was inherited from my Mother and she acquired it on her travels, possibly from California. I had thought to ask why she liked it and it was the child-like quality of the drawing that appealed to her as a former Primary School teacher. It was printed by Portal Publications Ltd. You didn’t think it was a numbered original, did you?

It makes me think about what I might do today that would be so creative. And what I might done that would last to be appreciated 65 years later.

Ours is clearly titled “Hand with Flowers” but I have seen it also referred to as Bouquet of Peace.

A fan website, PabloPicasso.Net, says this
“Picasso was renowned for his style diversity and in Mains aux Fleurs (Hands with Flowers); he chose to keep it simple.”A fan website, PabloPicasso.Net, says this
Picasso was renowned for his style diversity and in Mains aux Fleurs (Hands with Flowers); he chose to keep it simple.

The colour painting consists of two hands holding blue, yellow, red and orange flower stalks. Picasso hand-signed his name and date (21.4.58) with a pencil on the piece at the right and bottom corner.

Picasso created the Bouquet of Peace in July 1958 to commemorate the peace demonstration held in Stockholm, Sweden. The original was a watercolour lithograph printed by Schuster, Paris.

This painting is made up of four large flowers and three smaller ones. Picasso used oval shapes to depict the centre of the big flowers. Spectators will also notice the oval shapes used for the fingernails.

The artist doesn’t attempt to make the flowers look real. However, the bright colours attract from a distance away. The mixture of lively primary colours and brilliant shades of secondary colours make the painting hard to pass by. Picasso uses thin lines for the stems, which render sharp contrasts to the flower petals and the hands holding them.”

Further reference

Here is the Artefact series introduction.

By Angus Willson

Angus Willson is editor of this site and author of this blogpost.

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