Françoise Gilot has confirmed the authenticity of this work. It is recorded in her archives under the number SG.0751.02.
'When I told him, one morning, in a flash of warmth quite unlike the "English reserve" I had shown him before, how much at ease I felt with him, he grabbed my arm and burst out excitedly, "But that’s exactly the way I feel. When I was young, even before I was your age, I never found anybody that seemed like me. I felt I was living in complete solitude and I never talked to anybody about what I really thought, I took refuge entirely in my painting. As I went along through life, gradually I met people with whom I could exchange a little bit and then a little bit more. And I had that same feeling with you - of speaking the same language. From the very first moment I knew we could communicate”' (F. Gilot, My Life with Picasso, New York, 1964, p. 32)
Les amants from 1947 depicts the young Françoise Gilot with her then partner Pablo Picasso in a loving embrace. Mother to two of their children, Gilot drew this work just after the birth of their first child Claude, at a time when the two artists were very much in love. The heart-shaped composition of soft, curving lines, with the two lovers facing one another at close proximity, displays a directness of interaction, an unspoken, intimate communication, whilst her hand is raised to his mouth in a tender gesture. The fluid confidence of line serves to articulate their respective profiles masterfully, with the defining characteristics of their faces reflecting similarity with
Picasso’s own portraits of her, reinforcing their creative and emotional synergy at this time of happiness in their relationship.