Pictures Of Picasso ... In Color

  • In 1949, Life photographer Gjon Mili visited Pablo Picasso in the south of France. Most of the phtoos that resulted were black-and-white, including the memorable "light painting" photos. But Mili also took a few rolls of lesser-known color photographs.
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    In 1949, Life photographer Gjon Mili visited Pablo Picasso in the south of France. Most of the phtoos that resulted were black-and-white, including the memorable "light painting" photos. But Mili also took a few rolls of lesser-known color photographs.
    Courtesy of 'Life'
  • The original caption that went with this photo read: "Mili placed a flower over Picasso's left ear and bathed him in reddish light to recapture his first impression of the artist, that of a proud, copper-skinned South Sea Island chieftain,"
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    The original caption that went with this photo read: "Mili placed a flower over Picasso's left ear and bathed him in reddish light to recapture his first impression of the artist, that of a proud, copper-skinned South Sea Island chieftain,"
    Courtesy of 'Life'
  • Mili was a photographic innovator. Four years prior to meeting Picasso, he attached tiny flashlights at the feet of professional figure skater Carol Lynne to make similar long-exposure "light paintings."
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    Mili was a photographic innovator. Four years prior to meeting Picasso, he attached tiny flashlights at the feet of professional figure skater Carol Lynne to make similar long-exposure "light paintings."
    Courtesy of 'Life'
  • Inside the drawing room of his home in Mougins, flowers and paintings surround two portraits taken by David Douglas Duncan.
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    Inside the drawing room of his home in Mougins, flowers and paintings surround two portraits taken by David Douglas Duncan.
    Courtesy of 'Life'
  • Among Picasso's muses was his mistress at the time of Mili's visit: Francoise Gilot. She was 21 and he was 61 when they first met. They had two children together, Claude and Paloma; here, in a never-published photo, 2-year-old Claude stands in front of his mother and a drawing of the boy by his famous father.
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    Among Picasso's muses was his mistress at the time of Mili's visit: Francoise Gilot. She was 21 and he was 61 when they first met. They had two children together, Claude and Paloma; here, in a never-published photo, 2-year-old Claude stands in front of his mother and a drawing of the boy by his famous father.
    Courtesy of 'Life'
  • Mili captures Picasso playing with two of his artistic obsessions: the mask and the minotaur, a mythical half-bull, half-man that appeared in much of his work
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    Mili captures Picasso playing with two of his artistic obsessions: the mask and the minotaur, a mythical half-bull, half-man that appeared in much of his work
    Courtesy of 'Life'

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Most recognizable photos of Pablo Picasso are black-and-white — mainly because in the heyday of culture magazines like Life, that was in vogue. There do exist some color photos, though, including a set by renowned photographer Gjon Mili. Mili was an innovator in both light and motion, most famously capturing Picasso's "light paintings."

He visited Picasso in the south of France in 1949 on assignment for life. What resulted was, again, mostly black-and-white. But he did shoot a few color rolls, which Life has resurrected for the 110th anniversary of Picasso's major Paris show.

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