In 1949, Pablo Picasso collaborated with photographer Gjon Mili to produce a series of 'light paintings'. For five sessions in darkened rooms, a 67 year old Picasso drew hypnotic figures of centaurs, elephants, the female body and more, each image vanishing as it was being formed.

Back in 1949 a photographer for LIFE magazine by the name of Gjon Mili had taken some rarely seen shots of Pablo Picasso light painting.

Pablo Picasso 'painting' with light, France, 1949. Photo: Gjon Mili

One bright spark: Hypnotic photographs capture Pablo Picasso 'painting' with light

Albanian self-taught photographer Gjon Mili (1904-1984) arrived in USA in 1923.  He visited Pablo Picasso at Vallauris (France) and made this amazing stills for LIFE MAG. Trained as an engineer in the mid 1930’s Gjon Mili, worked with Harold Eugene Edgerton from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), pioneered photoflash photography, using stroboscopic light to capture motion in a single exposure.

全てがピカソの線! 1949年の光のドローイング写真

In legendary artist Pablo Picasso—in collaboration with photographer Gjon Mili, who was then working for LIFE magazine—created a series of images that shows himself “drawing with light”.

Las desconocidas pinturas de luz de Pablo Picasso

Las desconocidas pinturas de luz de Pablo Picasso

Light painting by Picasso

This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room.

Gjon Mili. Violinist Jascha Heifetz playing in Mili’s darkened studio as light attached to his bow traces the bow movement. 1952

Gjon Mili, Jascha Heifetz playing Violin in Mili’s darkened Studio as Light attached to his Bow Traces the Bow Movement, 1952

Art Eric Staller

Photography and Painting Together: Light Painting. Pablo Picasso is experiencing light painting.


It would be very curious to record by means of photographs, not the stage of the picture, but its metamorphoses - Light Drawings — photographs of Pablo Picasso by Gjon Mili, 1949

Las desconocidas pinturas de luz de Pablo Picasso

Las desconocidas pinturas de luz de Pablo Picasso

Femme au chapeau orne, 1962 by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso, Grand Tête de Jacqueline au Chapeau, would be a perfect painting for the hallway!