These fascinating photos of Picasso doing graffiti with a tiny flashlight were shot in 1949 by LIFE photographer Gjon Mili when he visited the artist in Vallauris, France. The sense of motion and exuberance captured in the shots is breathtaking.

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It is alleged that Picasso’s imagination was sparked when Mili showed the artist some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates jumping in the dark.

See more great images from the series here.

Via Today and Tomorrow / Wooster Collective