Pablo Picasso was probably the most famous artist of the twentieth century. During his artistic career, which lasted more than 75 years, he created thousands of works, not only paintings but also sculptures, prints, and ceramics, using all kinds of materials. He almost single-handedly created modern art. He changed art more profoundly than any other artist of this century because he was an inspiration.
Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain, son of an artist, Jose Ruiz, and Maria Picasso. Rather than adopt the common name Ruiz, the young Picasso took the rarer name of his mother. An artistic prodigy, Picasso, at the age of 14, completed the one-month qualifying examination of the Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona in one day. From there he went to the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, returning in 1900 to Barcelona, where he frequented the city’s famous cabaret of intellectuals and artists, Els Quatre Gats.
The years of 1901 to 1904, known, as the “blue period” because of the blue tonality of Picasso’s paintings was a time of frequent changes of residence between Barcelona and Paris. During this period, he would spend his days in Paris studying the masterworks at the Louvre and his nights enjoying the company of fellow artists at cabarets like the Lapin Agile.
1905 and 1906 marked a radical change in colour and mood for Picasso. He became fascinated with the acrobats, clowns and wandering families of the circus world. He started to paint in subtle pinks and greys, often highlighted with brighter tones. This was known as his “rose period.”
For Picasso the 1920’s were years of rich artistic exploration and great productivity. Picasso continued to design theatre sets and painted in Cubist, Classical and Surreal modes. From 1929 to 1931, he pioneered wrought iron sculpture with his old friend Julio Gonzalez. In the early 1930’s, Picasso did a large quantity of graphic illustrations. In late 1906, Picasso started to paint in a truly revolutionary manner. Inspired by Cézanne’s flattened depiction of space, and working alongside his friend Georges Braque, he began to express space in strongly geometrical terms. These initial efforts at developing this almost sculptural sense of space in painting are the beginnings of Cubism.
In 1907, Picasso painted “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” considered the watershed picture of the twentieth century, and met Georges Braque, the other leading figure of the Cubist movement. Cubism was equally the creation of Picasso and Braque and from 1911 to 1913; the two men were in frequent contact. In 1917, Picasso did the set and costume design for Serge Diaghilev’s ballet “Parade.” The famous “Demoiselles d’Avignon” is often represented as the seminal Cubist work. Although its impact on later Modernism cannot be denied, William Rubin has proven that it was actually a false start of sorts that did not lead directly into the Cubist work. You can tell this from the 1907 date of the Demoiselles, while the truly proto-Cubist works begin to appear later, in 1908-09.
In late April of 1937, the world learned the shocking news of the saturation bombing of the civilian target of Guernica, Spain by the Nazi Luftwaffe. Picasso responded with his great anti-war painting, “Guernica.”
During World War II, Picasso lived in Paris, where he turned his energy to the art of ceramics. From 1947 to 1950, he pursued new methods of lithography.
The l950’s saw the beginning of a number of large retrospective exhibits of his works. During this time he began to paint a series of works conceived as free variations on old master paintings.
In the 1960’s, he produced a monumental 50-foot sculpture for the Chicago Civic Centre. In 1970, Picasso donated more than 800 of his works to the Berenguer de Aguilar Palace Museum in Barcelona.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France at the age of 91.
Pablo is famous for many things mainly his artwork, to me his work was and still is a masterpiece. The colours he uses light up the painting he had done. For example, as you can see from the one above the orange and reddish colours were clearly his most favourite and desired for the paintings. He was also famous for everything not just his artwork but all other forms of art e.g. sculptures.
He is the Modern art only sadly past his time.
In the later years of his life, age had not brought Picasso down. He painted almost 200 works in the last two years of his life alone. He has been more highly regarded than any other artist in his time, and he continues to interest and influence many people even today. Pablo Picasso died of heart failure in 1973 at the age of 93. It seemed that Picasso had not only been one of the centuries most popular figures, but that he had inevitably fooled the public into believing that he, like his art, would endure forever.
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