Pablo Picasso was a famous Spanish-French Painter in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pablo Picasso’s works can be seen in many museums and galleries all over the world today. He is best known for co-creating the art style of cubism. His most famous works of art were possibly The Old Guitarist, which was in his Blue Period, and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which was in his Cubism Period. Picasso was not just a famous painter, but also did some sculpture and printmaking as well. He is better known for his paintings rather than his sculpture, though.
Pablo R. Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain to his parents Maria Picasso Lopez and Jose Ruiz Blasco. His father Jose, who was an art teacher, moved his family to the port of La Coruna and in 1895 he moved them again to Barcelona, Spain, where he was hired to be a Professor in the School of Fine Arts. That same year, Picasso, now 14, passed the school entrance examination and enrolled in the School of Fine Arts. Two years later, he went to Madrid to study at the Royal Academy, only to return just a few months later. He returned to Barcelona to go to the Els Quatre Gats, where many poets, artists, and critics met to discuss ideas from countries outside Spain. Although Picasso made many friends in Barcelona and Madrid, in 1904 Picasso left Spain to settle permanently in Paris.
In Paris, Picasso rented an old run-down building in Montmarte called the Bateau Lavoir. This started the Blue Period of Picasso’s painting life. It was in this period which Picasso expressed beggars, outcasts, and cripples in heavy blue shaded paintings. One of the most famous of these is The Old Guitarist. The Blue period eventually gave way into the Rose Period in which he painted in more brown and pink colors, local cafes, and countryside. He lived in Paris for five years in material poverty but still painting.
While in this part of Paris, Picasso met Gertrude and Leo Stein, the famous poet-critic Guillaume Apollinaire, and his mistress Fernande Olivier, a person who was the subject of many of Picasso’s works. But most importantly he met Georges Braque, who co-founded the cubist style of Picasso’s, which began in 1909. Cubism is his style of art in which he distorts the image like in Still Life in Chair Caning and Portrait of Kahnweiler. It was in this same year, 1909 that Picasso moved to a more spacious and less run-down apartment in the Boulevard de Clichy. Here he met Marcelle Humbert, whom he called Eva, who took over his affections instead of Fernande Olivier.
World War I started which left Picasso without his friends Braque and Apollinaire who served in the war. Also, Eva died in 1915. Picasso moved to Montrouge in 1916. After this, Picasso got involved in Realism, seen in his drawing Portrait of Vollard. To further reinforce his realism paintings, he was in a stage design commission in which he painted a large curtain for the spectacular ballet Parade (1917). While making stage designs, Picasso met many writers, musicians, and other artists. Of these people, he met poets Jean Cocteau, Paul Eluard, and Louis Aragon.
Also, he met the composers Erik Satie and Igor Stravinsky; and a few artists, including Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and Man Ray. It was at this time in which Paul Rosenberg became his dealer, and Picasso married a young Russian dancer, Olga Koklova in 1918. Later this year, he and Olga moved into a newer and larger apartment in Rue de la Boétie.
It was in the 1920s in which Picasso started his surrealism period in which Picasso became more expressive in his paintings instead of constructive. But Picasso never formally joined the movement of surrealism. Some of his most famous surrealism works were Three Dancers and Guernica.
Other paintings he did in the late ’20s and early ’30s were very distorted surrealist figures. Later in the 1930s, his paintings became more overtly symbolic because of the tragic happenings of that time. The Spanish Civil War of 1936 seemed to influence most of his paintings with some patriotism and humanitarian outrage. Guernica again was one of these surrealist drawings in which a Spanish town is being bombed by Franco’s forces.
In 1944 Picasso was hard at work casting Man With a Lamb, a powerful Greek bronze sculpture. It was at this time that Picasso had received universal fame. In 1955 Olga, Picasso’s wife died, and in 1961 Picasso married Jacqueline. With Jacqueline, Picasso moved to Mougins, in southern France. He kept on painting but kept on coming up detached, self-mocking paintings using many reoccurring themes. Picasso died at an age of nearly 92 in Mougins and will be remembered of one of the art world’s last great masters.
Encyclopedia Americana- (http://go.grolier.com) “Pablo Picasso” Thomas M. Messer
Picasso.com- (http://www.picasso.com) Everything
Art-cyclopedia- (http://www.artcyclopedia.com) Artists: Pablo Picasso
Olga’s Gallery- (http://www.abcgallery.com) Artists: Picasso
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