This item is a contemporary reproduction, and despite the official looking embossed seal in the lower left corner identifying it as a print issued by the 'Collection Domaine Picasso' this item was not produced in association with the artist's estate. Keep in mind that inexpensive, custom-made embossers and seal dies can be designed to say anything. And they can be ordered made by anyone. So don't let a fancy seal mark automatically 'impress' you, too, by its presence.
Picasso's heirs, known as the Succession Picasso, hold all incorporeal property rights to the artist's name and works. Only the Picasso Administration, acting as agent for Succession Picasso can legally license uses of the Picasso name and authorize reproductions of his works.
This particular reproduction is supposed to be from a 'limited edition' of 500 and 'A.P.' was placed on it in pencil instead of an edition number. Undoubtedly to identify it as an 'artist's proof' copy. In early days of print-making, creating prints basically meant doing them individually, with each new print pulled from the block, stone or plate by hand. Over time the etched surface an artist had created in order to make the prints would become worn. Later print impressions would be of lesser quality than the first. Prints began to be numbered, to mark those made closer to the beginning of the print run, as these were invariably of better quality than those nearer the end of an edition. Generally a lower numbered print could command a higher price.
While the term 'artist's proofs' probably originated to refer to interim copies pulled to check the progress of the artist's work, it eventually came to primarily mean the first printed copies made, prior to the numbered copies of an edition. Once satisfied that printing of an edition of prints could commence the pulled proof copies were retained by the artist. As these were the first made, detail would be of the highest quality. They also have the cachet of personal approval by the original artist and typically there are very few of them. So, an Artist's Proof copy in the collecting category of art prints, commands a premium price over other examples in an edition.
But, there are a couple of points to note in the case of the copy seen in this example. First, the medium used to make it is giclée, also called iris printing. The iris printer is an electronic, 'print-on-demand' tool, a modern ink jet printer. With it, unlimited numbers of a print can be made without any degradation of an old-fashioned print plate. Traditionally print plates or negatives were destroyed after the production of a print run, too, in order to ensure the integrity of a print edition. But, digital files of the type used to create giclée prints are easily stored and reused at any time. So, the possibility is high that a so-called 'Limited Edition' giclée print run, even if it really was 'limited' to begin with, might not remain limited. Unlimited numbers of the same prints can be created again and again and at any time in the future. For this reason the participation of the original artist in the production of a 'limited' giclée print edition of their work should be considered of utmost importance. Which brings us to the second point.
The giclée printing process had yet to be invented when Pablo Picasso was alive. So, not only would it have been impossible for him to personally approve this print (or mark it as approved), no one representing his estate would have done so either, since it is an unauthorized copy.
So, if the very first giclée print made is the same as the last, be it numbered 500 or 100,000, the only reason this particular print was marked, 'A.P.' would be so it could be sold for a high price.
Giclée prints identified as issued by the 'Collection Domaine Picasso,' either by stamp or pencil 'signature,' can frequently be purchased brand new on the Internet for under $100. To ask the representative's of Picasso's estate whether a print you own is a valuable authorized copy, visit the Favorite Links page in this shop for a link through which they can be contacted.
The print image by sight shown for this example measures approximately 9 and 1/4 inches by 12 and 1/2 inches.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.