One of the most famous and world renowned artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) is considered one of the fathers of modern art and cubism in particular. Pablo Ruiz Picasso (full name Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso) was born on the 25th October, 1881 in Malaga in Spain.
Childhood. First steps in the world of art
When he was born, the midwife thought that he was stillborn so she left him on a table to attend his mother. His uncle, a doctor named Don Salvador, blew smoke into Picasso’s face and in such a way saved a child’s life as Picasso started to cry furiously. Picasso’s first word was “piz,” short of lápiz the Spanish word for ‘pencil.’ So, we can say that he was born an artist. When Picasso was 9, he completed his first painting: Le picador, a man riding a horse in a bullfight. Pablo had his first exhibit at age 13, when he showed his paintings in the back room of an umbrella store. His first major painting, an “academic” work is First Communion, depicting his father, mother, and younger sister kneeling before an altar. Picasso was 15 when he finished it.
He made his first trip to Paris, the capital of art, in 1900. There he soaked up the works of Manet, Gustave Courbet, and Toulouse-Lautrec, whose sketchy style impressed him greatly. He lived with a friend Max Jacob who was a journalist and a poet. Those were hard times for Picasso and he burned many of his paintings to keep himself warm. Then he went back to Spain, then returned to France, and again went back to Spain – all in the years 1899 to 1904. In 1901, Picasso started a magazine called ‘Arte Joven’ in Madrid with his friend Soler. He completely illustrated the first edition of the magazine. It was at this point that he began to sign his paintings as ‘Picasso’ rather than ‘Pablo Ruiz y Picasso’.
Pablo Picasso – Periods
In 1897, his realistic style of painting became influenced by symbolism and came across in a series of landscapes where he used violet and green tones in the colors. From 1899 to 1900 was a period where Picasso was creating paintings in a modernist style which emerged due to his influence and exposure to the works of Rossetti, Edward Munch etc. His Blue Period lasted from around 1900 – 1904. This period was named for both the colors he favored and the subject matter of his paintings, which often depicted people with sad expressions. Some of the famous paintings by Pablo Picasso during this period were ‘La Vie’, ‘The Blindman’s Meal’ and a portrait called ‘Celestina’. The Rose Period began around 1904. Picasso’s paintings were dominated by pinks and light blues, and roses. His subjects were harlequins and clowns. 1907 to 1909 is called his African Influenced Period where his drawings were inspired by African artifacts. In 1908, Picasso and Braque began to define a style that would become known as Cubism. The style draws heavily on geometry, angles and perspective. 1909 to 1912 is called Picasso’s Analytic Cubism Period. Inspired by the volumetric treatment of form by the French post impressionist Paul Cézanne, Picasso and the French artist Georges Braque painted landscapes in a style later described by a critic as being made of “little cubes”, thus leading to the term cubism. This style of painting was characterized by the use of monochrome brown colors. Picasso’s favorite subjects were musical instruments, still-life objects, and his friends. 1912 to 1919 is called Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism Period. This second phase of cubism is more decorative, and color plays a major role, although shapes remain fragmented and flat. In a realist style, Picasso made several portraits of his wife, their son, and numerous friends. During the 1930s he returned to a more neo-classical style of painting. From 1968 to 1971 he produced several paintings in the style now known as neo-expressionism.
Throughout Picasso’s lifetime, his work was exhibited on countless occasions. Most unusual, however, was the 1971 exhibition at the Louvre, in Paris, honoring him on his 90th birthday; until then, living artists had not been shown there. From paintings to etchings to ceramics, all of his works are a testament to his skills. He created more than 20,000 works. His paintings can be found in museums all over the world. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain claims to have the largest collection of his artworks. Pablo Picasso was without question one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century.
How many women have influenced the life of great artist?
All the paintings by Pablo Picasso were largely affected by his personal and love life. It’s not a secret that Picasso had an active love life. In 1904, Picasso began a relationship with Fernande Olivier who appears in some of his Rose Period Paintings. Picasso left her for Marcelle Humbert, who he used to call Eva, and declarations of his love for her are seen in his Cubist paintings. In 1918, Picasso married Olga Khokhlova who was a ballerina in Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe. They had one son, called Paulo. Despite the fact that their marriage failed, they never divorced. Picasso did not want her to have half of his wealth. But they remained separated till she died in 1955. Several cubist paintings of the early 1930s, stressing harmonious, curvilinear lines and expressing an underlying eroticism, reflect Picasso’s pleasure with his newest love, Marie-Therese Walter. With this 17 year old lady Picasso even had a daughter called Maia. He never married Marie-Therese. Four years after Picasso’s death, she hanged herself. During the 1930s and early 1940s photographer and painter Dora Maar was Picasso’s lover. Picasso referred to her as his “private muse,” referring to how much loved her and how much she inspired his work. In 1944, Picasso began an affair with a young art student called Francoise Gilot. They had two children, Claude and Paloma. In 1953, when Picasso was in his 70s, she left him because of his many infidelities. His next love affair was with a beautiful and young girl called Genevieve Laporte. But it lasted no longer than six weeks. Then he met Jacqueline Roque who worked at Madoura Pottery where Picasso made and painted ceramic art. They married in 1961 and were together till Picasso’s death. Pablo Picasso died on the 8th of April, 1973 while he and his wife Jacqueline were entertaining friends for dinner. His last words were: ‘Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink anymore.’