Gold Plate Picasso: Atelier Hugo

Gold Plate Picasso: Atelier Hugo

A gold plate by Picasso

Visage Carton Ondule by Pablo Picasso

In the South of France in Aix en Provence there is a workshop called Atelier Hugo. This workshop of creativity is steeped in history. They still use handmade tools there. They still apply ancient techniques there. The people who work there are all very much aware that they are “original creators,” a part of a legacy whose foundation is goldsmith excellence.

Not everyone is aware of the fact that the prolific artist Pablo Picasso not only made drawings, painted in oils and watercolors, but also created works of art in other media.

He made ceramic plates, as well as silver ones and gold plates and platters.

The gold plates and platters are rare and few between. Nearly all of them are in private collections.

Working with gold takes special techniques and tools. Picasso chose to work together with the Atelier Hugo to fashion his works of art. Today, the Atelier Hugo explains the following on their website:

“The first artists who asked François Hugo to work as his goldsmith was Pablo Picasso. Not with little masks or shapes like Max Ernst and André Derain, but terracotta plates of around 40 cm in diameter! Having found the perfect method for producing an original relief in a precious metal, he just had to find other applications and analyse all the resources and qualities of these techniques. The applications are virtually unlimited. Only the size of the gold plates required is a problem. These plates are laminated at varying thickness from 5/10 of a millimeter to 15/10 of a millimeter.”

The Atelier Hugo not only worked together with Pablo Picasso, but also with many great artists. On the Atelier Hugo website you can browse through exquisite objects made of gold and other precious metals from the following artists: Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Jean Arp, Jean Cocteau and many more.

Gold by Max Ernst

Poisson / 23 carat gold / Max Ernst

Earrings by Dorothea Tanning

Earrings / Dorothea Tanning

A gold object made by Jean Arp

Torse d’Oiseau / 23 carat gold / Jean Arp

A mask made by Jean Cocteau

Grand Masque / 23 carat gold / Jean Cocteau


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