Picasso (January 1962)
José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios
Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso
October 25, 1881(1881-10-25)
April 8, 1973
Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramics
(father), Academy of Arts, Madrid
Les Demoiselles d"Avignon (1907)
Guernica (1937) The Weeping Woman (1937)
Pablo Ruiz Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973), often referred to simply as Picasso,
was a Spanish painter and sculptor. His full name is Pablo Diego José
Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano
de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso. One of
the most recognized figures in 20th century art, he is best known as the
co-founder, along with Georges Braque, of cubism.
Pablo Picasso, self-portrait Yo, Picasso, 1901,
was born in Málaga, Spain, the first child of José Ruiz y Blasco
and María Picasso y López. He was christened with the names
Pablo, Diego, José, Francisco de Paula, Juan Nepomuceno, Maria de los
Remedios, and Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad.
father was a painter whose specialty was the naturalistic depiction of birds
and who for most of his life was also a professor of art at the School of
Crafts and a curator of a local museum. The young Picasso showed a passion and
a skill for drawing from an early age; according to his mother,
his first word was "piz," a shortening of lápiz, the Spanish
word for pencil. It was from his father that Picasso had his
first formal academic art training, such as figure drawing and painting in oil.
Although Picasso attended art schools throughout his childhood, often those
where his father taught, he never finished his college-level course of study at
the Academy of Arts (Academia de San Fernando) in Madrid, leaving after
less than a year.
art in Madrid, he made his first trip to Paris in 1900, the art capital of
Europe. In Paris, he lived with Max Jacob (journalist and poet), who helped him
learn French. Max slept at night and Picasso slept during the day as he worked
at night. There were times of severe poverty, cold, and desperation. Much of
his work had to be burned to keep the small room warm. In 1901, with his friend
Soler, he founded the magazine Arte Joven in Madrid. The first edition
was entirely illustrated by him. From that day, he started to simply sign his
work Picasso, while before he signed Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.
In the early
years of the 20th century, Picasso, still a struggling youth, divided his time
between Barcelona and Paris, where in 1904, he began a long-term relationship
with Fernande Olivier. It is she who appears in many of the Rose period
paintings. After acquiring fame and some fortune, Picasso left Olivier for
Marcelle Humbert, whom Picasso called Eva. Picasso included declarations of his
love for Eva in many Cubist works.
Pablo Picasso, Nature morte à la chaise cannée,1912
Picasso entertained a distinguished coterie of friends in the Montmartre and Montparnasse
quarters, including André Breton, poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and writer
Gertrude Stein. Apollinaire was arrested on suspicion of stealing the Mona
Lisa from the Louvre in 1911. Apollonaire pointed to his friend Picasso,
who was also brought in for questioning, but both were later exonerated.
a number of mistresses in addition to his wife or primary partner. Picasso was
married twice and had four children by three women. In 1918, Picasso married Olga
Khokhlova, a ballerina with Sergei Diaghilev"s troupe, for whom Picasso was
designing a ballet, Parade, in Rome. Khokhlova introduced Picasso to
high society, formal dinner parties, and all the social niceties attendant on
the life of the rich in 1920s Paris. The two had a son, Paulo, who would grow
up to be a dissolute motorcycle racer and chauffeur to his father. Khokhlova"s
insistence on social propriety clashed with Picasso"s bohemian tendencies and
the two lived in a state of constant conflict. In 1927 Picasso met 17 year old Marie-Thérèse
Walter and began a secret affair with her. Picasso"s marriage to Khokhlova soon
ended in separation rather than divorce, as French law required an even
division of property in the case of divorce, and Picasso did not want Khokhlova
to have half his wealth. The two remained legally married until Khokhlova"s
death in 1955. Picasso carried on a long-standing affair with Marie-Thérèse
Walter and fathered a daughter, Maia, with her. Marie-Thérèse
lived in the vain hope that Picasso would one day marry her, and hanged herself
four years after Picasso"s death.
photographer and painter Dora Maar was also a constant companion and lover of
Picasso. The two were closest in the late 1930s and early 1940s and it was Maar
who documented the painting of Guernica.
Second World War, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the
city. Picasso"s artistic style did not fit the Nazi views of art, so he was not
able to show his works during this time. Retreating to his studio, he continued
to paint all the while. Although the Germans outlawed bronze casting in Paris,
Picasso continued regardless, using bronze smuggled to him by the French
After the liberation
of Paris in 1944, Picasso began to keep company with a young art student, Françoise
Gilot. The two eventually became lovers, and had two children together, Claude
and Paloma. Unique among Picasso"s women, Gilot left Picasso in 1953, allegedly
because of abusive treatment and infidelities. This came as a severe blow to
through a difficult period after Gilot"s departure, coming to terms with his
advancing age and his perception that, now in his 70s, he was no longer
attractive, but rather grotesque to young women. A number of ink drawings from
this period explore this theme of the hideous old dwarf as buffoonish
counterpoint to the beautiful young girl, including several from a six-week
affair with Geneviève Laporte, who in June 2005 auctioned off the
drawings Picasso made of her.
not long in finding another lover, Jacqueline Roque. Roque worked at the
Madoura Pottery, where Picasso made and painted ceramics. The two remained
together for the rest of Picasso"s life, marrying in 1961. Their marriage was
also the means of one last act of revenge against Gilot. Gilot had been seeking
a legal means to legitimize her children with Picasso, Claude and Paloma. With
Picasso"s encouragement, she had arranged to divorce her then husband, Luc
Simon, and marry Picasso to secure her children"s rights. Picasso then secretly
married Roque after Gilot had filed for divorce in order to exact his revenge
for her leaving him.
constructed a huge gothic structure and could afford large villas in the south
of France, at Notre-dame-de-vie on the outskirts of Mougins, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte
d"Azur. Although he was a celebrity, there was often as much interest in his
personal life as his art.
In addition to
his manifold artistic accomplishments, Picasso had a film career, including a
cameo appearance in Jean Cocteau"s Testament of Orpheus. Picasso always
played himself in his film appearances. In 1955 he helped make the film Le
Mystère Picasso (The Mystery of Picasso) directed by Henri-Georges
died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France, while he and his wife Jacqueline
entertained friends for dinner. His final words were "Drink to me, drink
to my health, you know I can"t drink any more." He was
interred at Castle Vauvenargues" park, in Vauvenargues, Bouches-du-Rhône.
Jacqueline Roque prevented his children Claude and Paloma from attending the
remained neutral during World War I, the Spanish Civil War and World War II,
refusing to fight for any side or country. Picasso never commented on this but
encouraged the idea that it was because he was a pacifist.[citation
needed] Some of his contemporaries, including Braque, felt that this
neutrality had more to do with cowardice than principle.[citation
needed] As a Spanish citizen living in France, Picasso was under no
compulsion to fight against the invading Germans in either World War. In the
Spanish Civil War, service for Spaniards living abroad was optional and would
have involved a voluntary return to the country to join either side. While
Picasso expressed anger and condemnation of Francisco Franco and fascists
through his art, he did not take up arms against them. He also remained aloof
from the Catalan independence movement during his youth despite expressing
general support and being friendly with activists within it. No political
movement seemed to compel his support to any great degree, though he did become
a member of the Communist Party.
Picasso joined the French Communist Party, attended an international peace
conference in Poland, and in 1950 received the Stalin Peace Prize from the
Soviet government. But party criticism of a portrait of Stalin as
insufficiently realistic cooled Picasso"s interest in communist politics,
though he remained a loyal member of the Communist Party until his death. His
beliefs tended towards anarcho-communism.
In a 1945
interview with Jerome Seckler, Picasso declared: "I am a communist and my
painting is a communist painting. But if I were a shoemaker, royalist or
communist or anything else, I would not necessarily hammer my shoes in any
special way to show my politics." 
is often categorized into periods. While the names of many of his later periods
are debated, the most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period
(1901–1904), the Rose Period (1905–1907), the African-influenced Period
(1908–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919).
In 1939 - 40
the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, under its director Alfred Barr, a
Picasso enthusiast, held a major and highly successful retrospective of his
principal works up until that time. This exhibition lionized the artist,
brought into full public view in America the scope of his artistry, and
resulted in a reinterpretation of his work by contemporary art historians and
training under his father began before 1890. His progress can be traced in the
collection of early works now held by the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, which
provides one of the most comprehensive records extant of any major artist"s
beginnings. During 1893 the juvenile quality of his earliest
work falls away; by 1894 his career as a painter can be said to have begun.
The academic realism apparent in the works of the mid-1890s is well displayed
in The First Communion (1896), a large composition that depicts his
sister, Lola. In the same year, at the age of 14, he painted Portrait of
Aunt Pepa, a vigorous and dramatic portrait that Juan-Eduardo Cirlot has
called "without a doubt one of the greatest in the whole history of
In 1897 his
realism became tinged with Symbolist influence, in a series of landscape
paintings rendered in non naturalistic violet and green tones. What some call
his Modernist period (1899-1900) followed. His exposure to the work of Rossetti,
Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec and Edvard Munch, combined with his admiration for
favorite old masters such as El Greco, led Picasso to a personal version of
modernism in his works of this period.
Pablo Picasso, The Old Guitarist, (1902)
For more details on this topic, see Picasso"s Blue
Period (1901–1904) consists of somber paintings rendered in shades of blue and
blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colours. This period"s starting
point is uncertain; it may have begun in Spain in the spring of 1901, or in
Paris in the second half of the year. In his austere use of
color and sometimes doleful subject matter—prostitutes and beggars are frequent
subjects—Picasso was influenced by a trip through Spain and by the suicide of
his friend Carlos Casagemas. Starting in autumn of 1901 he painted several
posthumous portraits of Casagemas, culminating in the gloomy allegorical
painting La Vie, painted in 1903 and now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Pablo Picasso, Les Noces de Pierrette, 1905
The same mood
pervades the well-known etching The Frugal Repast (1904), which depicts
a blind man and a sighted woman, both emaciated, seated at a nearly bare table.
Blindness is a recurrent theme in Picasso"s works of this period, also
represented in The Blindman"s Meal (1903, the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
and in the portrait of Celestina (1903). Other frequent subjects are artists,
acrobats and harlequins. The harlequin, a comedic character usually depicted in
checkered patterned clothing, became a personal symbol for Picasso.
For more details on this topic, see Picasso"s Rose
Period (1905–1907) is characterized by a more cheery style with orange and pink
colors, and again featuring many harlequins. Picasso met Fernande Olivier, a
model for sculptors and artists, in Paris in 1904, and many of these paintings
are influenced by his warm relationship with her, in addition to his increased
exposure to French painting.
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d"Avignon, 1907
For more details on this topic, see Picasso"s African
African-influenced Period (1907–1909) begins with the two figures on the right
in his painting, Les Demoiselles d"Avignon, which were inspired by
African artifacts. Formal ideas developed during this period lead directly into
the Cubist period that follows.
For more details on this topic, see Analytic cubism.
cubism (1909–1912) is a style of painting Picasso developed along with Braque
using monochrome brownish colours. Both artists took apart objects and
"analyzed" them in terms of their shapes. Picasso and Braque"s
paintings at this time are very similar to each other.
For more details on this topic, see Synthetic cubism.
cubism (1912–1919) is a further development of Cubism in which cut paper
fragments—often wallpaper or portions of newspaper pages—are pasted into
compositions, marking the first use of collage in fine art.
Classicism and surrealism
Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937
In the period
following the upheaval of World War I Picasso produced work in a neoclassical
style. This "return to order" is evident in the work of many European
artists in the 1920s, including Derain, Giorgio de Chirico, and the artists of
the New Objectivity movement. Picasso"s paintings and drawings from this period
frequently recall the work of Ingres.
1930s, the minotaur replaced the harlequin as a motif which he used often in
his work. His use of the minotaur came partly from his contact with the surrealists,
who often used it as their symbol, and appears in Picasso"s Guernica.[citation
Picasso"s most famous work is his depiction of the German bombing of Guernica
during the Spanish Civil War — Guernica. This large canvas embodies for
many the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness of war.
Asked to explain its symbolism, Picasso said, "It isn"t up to the painter
to define the symbols. Otherwise it would be better if he wrote them out in so
many words! The public who look at the picture must interpret the symbols as
they understand them."
Guernica hung in New York"s Museum of
Modern Art for many years. In 1981 Guernica was returned to Spain and
exhibited at the Casón del Buen Retiro.
In 1992 the painting hung in Madrid"s Reina Sofía Museum when it opened.
one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International held at
the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. In the 1950s Picasso"s
style changed once again, as he took to producing reinterpretations of the art
of the great masters. He made a series of works based on Velazquez"s painting
of Las Meninas. He also based paintings on works of art by Goya, Poussin, Manet,
Courbet and Delacroix.
Picasso sculpture in Chicago.
commissioned to make a maquette for a huge 50 foot high public sculpture
to be built in Chicago, known usually as the Chicago Picasso. He
approached the project with a great deal of enthusiasm, designing a sculpture
which was ambiguous and somewhat controversial. What the figure represents is
not known; it could be a bird, a horse, a woman or a totally abstract shape.
The sculpture, one of the most recognizable landmarks in downtown Chicago, was
unveiled in 1967. Picasso refused to be paid $100,000 for it, donating it to
the people of the city.
final works were a mixture of styles, his means of expression in constant flux
until the end of his life. Devoting his full energies to his work, Picasso
became more daring, his works more colourful and expressive, and from 1968
through 1971 he produced a torrent of paintings and hundreds of copperplate
etchings. At the time these works were dismissed by most as pornographic
fantasies of an impotent old man or the slapdash works of an artist who was
past his prime. One long time admirer, Douglas Cooper, called them "the
incoherent scribblings of a frenetic old man".
Only later, after Picasso"s death, when the rest of the art world had moved on
from abstract expressionism, did the critical community come to see that
Picasso had already discovered neo-expressionism and was, as so often before,
ahead of his time.
At the time of
his death many of his paintings were in his possession, as he had kept off the
art market what he didn"t need to sell. In addition, Picasso had a considerable
collection of the work of other famous artists, some his contemporaries, such
as Henri Matisse, with whom he had exchanged works. Since Picasso left no will,
his death duties (estate tax) to the French state were paid in the form of his
works and others from his collection. These works form the core of the immense
and representative collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris. In 2003,
relatives of Picasso inaugurated a museum dedicated to him in his birthplace,
Málaga, Spain, the Museo Picasso
Picasso in Barcelona features many of Picasso"s early works, created while he
was living in Spain, including many rarely seen works which reveal Picasso"s
firm grounding in classical techniques. The museum also holds many precise and
detailed figure studies done in his youth under his father"s tutelage, as well
as the extensive collection of Jaime Sabartés, Picasso"s close friend
from his Barcelona days who, for many years, was Picasso"s personal secretary.
The film Surviving
Picasso was made about Picasso in 1996, as seen through the eyes of Françoise
Gilot. Anthony Hopkins played Picasso in the movie.
by Picasso rank among the most expensive paintings in the world.
on a black armchair" - sold for USD $45.1 million in 1999 to Les Wexner,
who then donated it to the Wexner Center for the Arts.
Noces de Pierrette - sold for more than USD $51 million in 1999.
à la pipe- sold for USD $104 million at Sotheby"s on May 4, 2004, establishing a
new price record.
Maar au Chat
- sold for USD $95.2 million at Sotheby"s on May 3, 2006.