In 1949, LIFE photographer Gjon Mili visited Picasso in Vallauris, France. He showed the painter some photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates jumping in the dark. Picasso was immediately inspired by the way the skaters painted each image with the light of their skates. With flashlight in hand, the artist took to painting the room with light. These momentary masterpieces and incredible photos were the result.