Collecting Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates

In the summer of 1946, Pablo Picasso met Georges and Suzanne Ramié, owners of the Madoura pottery studio in the small French town of Vallauris. Picasso was almost immediately enchanted with the medium, and quickly became prolific in the field of ceramic art, creating a wealth of Picasso ceramic plates (also called Picasso Madoura ceramics and Picasso pottery). One of the most common shapes for the artist was the round plate and many editions were made with this shape covering a vast range of subjects – mirroring Picasso’s oeuvre as a whole. Pablo Picasso ceramic plates come in two main sizes, the smaller having a diameter of 9 inches, and the larger a diameter of 16 inches. Due to the way that the clay contracts in the firing process, there is a margin on either side of these measurements.

Pablo Picasso ceramic plates features scenes of mythology, faces, birds, and more.

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Centaure (Centaur), 1956
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Centaure (Centaur), 1956"

Bullfighting, a theme that is common in many different mediums of Picasso’s art, is particularly common on Picasso ceramics. The fight takes the center of the plate, and a boarder, usually abstracted, forms not only the ring of the bullfight, but also appears as a crowd. Picasso really worked with the medium, creating with the shape– not simply on it.

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Picador et taureau (Picador and Bull), 1959
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Picador et taureau (Picador and Bull), 1959"

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Picador, 1953
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Picador, 1953"

Along with having many varied themes, the plates were also executed in different technical styles. Some plates are glazed:

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates "Black Face" Service, Plate D, 1948
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Black Face" Service, Plate D, 1948 - Glazed

Others are unglazed or partially glazed:

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Hibou Noir Perche (Perched Black Owl), 1957
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Hibou Noir Perche (Perched Black Owl), 1957"

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Visage dans un carré (Face in a Square), 1956
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Visage dans un carré (Face in a Square), 1956"

Many round plate Picasso ceramics are made in relief – a technique which requires a plaster mould with a negative image, which the clay is later impressed with.

Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plates Centaur, 1956
Pablo Picasso Ceramic Plate "Centaur, 1956"

Picasso Ceramic plates are an excellent display of Pablo Picasso’s mastery of all mediums, and the great variety which he produced ensures that everyone can find something to appreciate.

To learn more about collecting Pablo Picasso ceramics visit our guide and a short discussion on stamps and markings.


Check out our collection of Picasso Ceramics

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Pablo Picasso’s Rose Period (1904-1906)