Pablo Picasso
(1881-1973)
Viol, Avec un Coq, 1968
[Seduction]
Le Cocu Magnifique, Plate XII
(12.11.66.VI)
Etching
8-11/16 in. x 12-5/8 in.
Frame: 17 in. x 20 in.

Picasso, Vio Avec un CoqLe Cocu Magnifique (The Splendid Cuckold) is an illustration of the 1921 play by Belgian playwright and friend Fernand Crommelynck. The title refers to the cuckoo bird who commonly laid her eggs in other birds nests and the play revolves around the tribulations of love and adultery. Picasso composed the theatrical scenes in a stage-like setting even to the point of including the proscenium arch (the opening between the stage and the audience). The themes, selected by the artist reveal Picasso’s use of erotic sequences making use of his dramatic line and mastery of aquatint. Though Picasso saw the play many years earlier, he did not focus on the series of etchings until 1968, and then chose Crommelynck’s son Aldo, as the master printer for the project.  Picasso spent his last years at Aldo’s workshop at Mougins creating some of his most superb graphic images.