As well as perhaps the greatest painter and sculptor of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso was also its foremost printmaker. His published prints total approximately 2000 different images pulled from metal, stone, wood, linoleum and celluloid.

In 1963 Picasso acquired a hand press at his home and studio in Mougins, where the artist had settled permanently. By then in his eighties, Picasso actively resumed etching and engraving and about 500 intaglio plated from this period of his career have been published. Finally, in 1972, a year before his death, Picasso etched two intaglio plates, his last prints.

These prints can be split into two groups, the second of which is currently on display at the Picasso Museum. Created between October 1968 and March 1972, the engravings explore the theme of eroticism that was so recurrent in his work. These are scenes of a fun, joyful and idle world, with an undercurrent of frustrated desire.

References to masters of the art world abound in these works, alluding to many of those great masters who continuously inspired Picasso over the span of his lifetime, including Rembrandt, Velázquez, Goya, Ingres, Delacroix, Manet and, in particular, Degas.