On March 26, 1969, Picasso received a delivery of art supplies wrapped in large sheets of corrugated cardboard. Inspired to use the cardboard as a painting surface, he created twenty-nine colorful and bold portraits titled Portraits Imaginaires, or Imaginary Portraits.
Interested in having these works be interpreted through another medium, Picasso contacted the famous Egyptian lithographer Marcel Salinas and asked if he would create prototypes after two of his Portraits Imaginaires paintings.
Impressed with the examples Salinas created, Picasso began a three year collaboration with Salinas, producing a suite of twenty-nine color lithographs after his original twenty-nine Portraits Imaginaires paintings. They worked on this series from 1969 to 1972. It is said that this collaboration was one of the most successful partnerships of Picasso's lifetime.