Two Turtle Doves, 1946 (black)This original lithograph, Les Deux Tourterelles, II, 29.6.1946 (Two Turtle Doves II - black) was created June 29, 1946, the date appearing at the lower left.

This same image was also printed in yellow and then another double printing of the same image was made on a single sheet so there appeared to be four doves rather than two (printed in red and also yellow).  

On the same day Picasso created another variation in red with slightly different positioning of the doves.

Picasso created this lithograph by drawing it with crayon on lithographic paper that was then transferred to a lithograph stone for preparation and printing.  The work was done at the Mourlot Atelier during Picasso's active period with lithography.

It was created in an edition of 25 plus 5 trial proofs printed in yellow.  This one in black ink is a rarely seen trial proof and is numbered on the back of the paper 6/6 and initialed FM.  It is from the collection of Picasso's lithographer, Fernand Mourlot.

In 1946 when this lithograph was created, Picasso was with Françoise and created a famous series of lithographic portraits of her two weeks before drawing the turtle doves image. 

Just after completing the doves lithograph Picasso took Fran
çoise with him to stay at the house he had given Dora Maar (who Picasso had left in 1944).   While there, Picasso would receive daily letters from Marie-Thérèse (who he had left for Dora in 1936).  By August, 1946 Françoise is pregnant with Claude who was born in 1947.

It was in November, 1945 that Picasso went to do lithographic work in the studio of Fernand Mourlot, whom he has met through
Braque.  He discovered the intricate pleasures of creating prints with materials and techniques of lithography: transfer paper, crayon, tusche, washes, scraping, transferring images from plate to stone.  He is particularly fascinated with the possibility of preserving 'metamorphoses of a picture' by printing successive states of an image on the way to the final composition.  Picasso would arrive at Mourlot's Atelier between eight thirty and nine o'clock in the morning.   He created more than two hundred lithographs between then and early 1949.