One of the most important figures of modern art, Picasso started making ceramics in the late 1940s. During his summers on the Cote d’Azur, he was inspired by the Mediterranean colors and light. Picasso met a French potter couple Suzanne and Georges Ramié and they gave him access to their studio. From then on they had a fruitful partnership for 25 years, with Picasso making his ceramics and sculptures and the Ramié family producing and selling them.
Picasso produced over 3,500 ceramic designs. Although he started out making decorated utensils, such as plates and bowls, he later produced more complex shapes such as pitchers and vases – their handles were occasionally shaped to form facial features, or anatomical parts where they depicted animals.
Picasso continued to make clay pieces for the last years of his life. Initially, he discovered that working with clay was a relaxing summer retreat from the more strenuous demands of painting.