Pablo Picasso

In 1946 Picasso visited a pottery exhibition in Vallauris, close to Golfe Juan, as he had recently become interested in ceramics, and wanted to investigate the medium further. The Madoura workshop was exhibiting at the show, and their work caught the artist's eye. He asked to be introduced to the owners, Suzanne and Georges Ramié, who were delighted to meet the great man. Picasso asked a few questions about method and technicality but, as the actual workshop was very close by, Mons. & Mme. Ramié invited Picasso to go with them to see for himself. An excited & curious Picasso enthusiastically accepted and, immediately upon arriving at the workshop, made three pieces which he left to dry and bake.

It was a year before Picasso returned to Vallauris to examine the ceramics, but he was very happy with the way things had turned out. Soon, Picasso had his own area within the Madoura workshop where he began to work and where over the next quarter-century he would produce 633 pieces. Aside from artistic diversity and his natural enthusiasm for a new medium, one of the driving forces behind his prolific work at Madoura was the desire to create ceramics as multiples, that Madoura should produce and sell inexpensively so that everyone could own a Picasso.

Suzanne Ramié shared her vast experience with Picasso, teaching him all she knew of ceramics. Picasso being Picasso, however, it was not very long before he took the medium in new directions, creating some of his most memorable and popular images.