From 1930, Fernand Mourlot, owner of Paris print shop Atelier Mourlot, invited several artists to design posters to promote their exhibitions. Among them was Pablo Picasso, who took to the process of lithographic printing – where the image is drawn onto a stone surface with a crayon or ink and then printed onto paper – with such zeal that a corner of Mourlot’s studio became his own private workspace. Between 1945 and 1969, he went on to create nearly 400 lithographs.
These works (from £475) are being shown at the Royal Academy in London as part of its Picasso and Paper exhibition (until April 13). The selection includes Picasso’s collage-style graphic poster 1954 (£3,750); his Buste de femme d’après Cranach le Jeune on a 1966 poster for a Paris exhibition (£3,500); and the Congrès Mondial pour la Paix from 1962, which features a line drawing of a dove above bright-blue typography (£6,500).
Alongside the prints, Le Petit Café will pop up for the duration of the exhibition, serving macarons, madeleines, baguettes and coffee – and evoking the atmosphere of 1930s Paris.