Picasso’s “Rinsed Print”
Jacqueline by Pablo Picasso, linocut, 1959
I love the simple but brilliant technical execution of this piece. The image has a nice smoky bluish color most like the above photograph. Referred to in the museum exhibition as a “rinsed print”, the steps are wonderfully simple. The uncut block was printed onto the page in a solid filed of black. Then the lines were cut for the drawing; the lines of the portrait were cut into the same block which was inked in a layer of transparent white and printed onto the solid black field. The black had a bluish tinge, which resulted in the final colour of the print.
The ease of this technique is that there is less cutting of the block. You only have to actually cut the lines away that you want to show as a positive, instead of doing the reverse and cutting away all of the negative space to expose the lines of the image. You have to print the page twice to make this work but the effect of the more transparent, glaze-like second ink is visually interesting.