How Picasso’s Dove Flew to China

Picasso’s famous doves, sometimes shown bearing an olive branch, became international symbols of mankind’s hope for peace during the Cold War.

Perhaps the most renowned of these is the simple but uplifting drawing sketched in 1961. However, Picasso's fascination with doves goes back many years prior.


As early as 1951 some official in the postal service of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) became enamored of Picasso’s winged emblem with the result that several Picasso-inspired stamps appeared on this country’s stamps during the early years of the Cold War, including two sets of stamps: PRC Scott 187-89 and PRC Northeast China Postal Service 1L154-56.

Familiar to most are Picasso's dove series dating from 1961.

 What Picasso sketches likely inspired the PRC postage stamp versions of his work?


And why would the creations of a"decadent" Western artist be approved by Red Chinese postal authorities?