Pablo Picasso, who was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and draftsman, is one of the most eminent figures of the twentieth-century art. A variety in his styles of art characterized this great artist. With his natural talent in art since childhood, Picasso grew up to become a world-famous artist.
Facts about Picasso's Life
- Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in the city of Malaga in Spain, to Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez. He came from a middle-class family. His father was a painter and served as a professor of art in the School of Crafts, and also as a museum curator.
- According to his mother, Picasso's first words were piz piz, which meant pencil in Spanish. This showed his inborn inclination towards painting. Since an early age, Picasso's father trained him in figure drawing and oil painting.
- Once it so happened that Ruiz found his son painting over his unfinished drawing. On observing his fineness in sketching, Ruiz thought that his son had surpassed him. From his childhood years, Picasso exhibited a flair for art.
- In 1900, Picasso toured to Paris to meet Max Jacob, a journalist and painter. They soon became friends and began to stay together. In the following year, Picasso began to illustrate for a journal Arte Joven.
- In 1904, Picasso met Fernande Olivier, a Bohemian artist. She later became his mistress. Picasso was married thrice and was a father of four children. Gilot, one of Picasso's women, left him in 1953, blaming him of abusive treatment. This incident had a negative impact on Picasso's life. He began to think of himself as an unattractive old man and portrayed these feelings in many of his works of those times.
- During World War II, Picasso who resided in Paris then, was banned from exhibiting his art as it did not confirm to the Nazi views on art. He believed in neutrality and stood by it during both the World Wars and the Spanish Civil War. In 1944, he joined the French Communist Party but soon lost interest in the Communist ideology and parted ways with it. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
- Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France.
Facts about Picasso's Work
- He held high regard for the works of El Greco and such other senior artists. His father was his first teacher. The artwork of Pablo Picasso can be divided into four periods; namely, the Blue Period from 1901 to 1904, the Rose Period between 1905 and 1907, the African-influenced Period of the years 1908 and 1909, and the synthetic Cubism continuing from 1912 to 1919. His artistic career can be said to have commenced from the year 1894. The First Communion and the Portrait of Aunt Pepa are some of his famous paintings done before 1901.
- Paintings rendered in shades of blue and green characterize the Blue Period of Picasso's works. A stark use of color, gloom, and blindness were some of the features of his paintings in the Blue period. The Rose Period bore paintings rendered in cheerful colors like pink and orange. Many of his paintings of this period depicted his warm relationship with Fernande Olivier. His paintings of the African-influenced period show an influence of African artifacts. Cubism reflects the use of monochrome brownish and neutral colors.
- Many consider Guernica, to be Picasso's most famous work. It was a depiction of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Many look at it as a representation of the brutality and inhumanity during the war. For many years, Guernica was a part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
- Some of his other famous works include The Weeping Woman, The Old Guitarist, Dora Maar au Chat, and Don Quixote among others.
- He is believed to have completed the Weeping Woman series as a continuation to Guernica. Dora Maar was the model for all the paintings of this series. These oil paintings were a representation of suffering and were painted in 1937.
- The Old Guitarist is an oil painting done during the Expressionism Period. The painting shows an old, blind man with a guitar. He is depicted to be playing the guitar on the streets of Barcelona. Analysis has shown that there are three figures hidden behind the guitarist.
- Not representative of the earlier Rose, Blue, and Cubism periods, Don Quixote is a sketch of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, two characters in Spanish literature. It was done in 1955. Its black-and-white version is popular today.
- Painted in 1941, Dora Maar au Chat depicts Dora Maar sitting on a wooden chair with a cat on her shoulders. Known for its sculpture-like look, use of color, and complexity in the pattern of the subject's dress, it is one of the most valued artworks of Picasso.
- Child with a Dove was made in 1901. It was done during the period of Picasso's struggle for earning a name. This painting shows a child holding a white dove. There is a brightly colored ball in the vicinity and the sky painted blue and green grass in the background. His 1958 work Petite Fleurs depicts two hands holding a bunch of colored flowers. It could be interpreted as symbolizing peace.
- In 1949, 3rd Sculpture International was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Pablo Picasso was one of the 250 sculptors to participate in this big event. Soon after, Picasso started depicting interpretations of some great works of art. He produced reinterpretations of the works of some of the greatest artists. He got the opportunity to make a scale model also known as maquette for a 15-meter high public sculpture that was to be built in Chicago. The sculpture is quite abstract and in its abstractness, lies its appeal. This sculpture is known as Chicago Picasso and is one of the most famous works of the city. Pablo Picasso generously donated this work to the folks of the city.
- The Museu Picasso in Barcelona holds many of his artistic works. It hosts a collection of several works of his, which represent his classical techniques. Many of Picasso's paintings find a place in the list of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Pablo Picasso, a great painter and sculptor that he was, has left behind a legacy of many great works of art. His works are a source of inspiration for many upcoming artists and a subject of admiration for all art lovers.