Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

A Spanish painter who is widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century. He experimented with a wide range of styles and themes in his long career, most notably inspiring ‘Cubism’.

Picasso’s self portrait over the years

Image source: https://twistedsifter.com/2016/12/

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. Picasso is credited, along with Georges Braque, with the creation of Cubism.

Early life

Pablo Picasso was the son of José Ruiz Blasco, a professor of drawing, and Maria Picasso López. His unusual adeptness for drawing began to manifest itself early, around the age of 10, when he became his father’s pupil in A Coruña, where the family moved in 1891. Though he was a relatively poor student, Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was 13 years old, his skill level had surpassed his father’s. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead.

Pablo Picasso photographie, 1971

Image source: https://www.successo.com/

 

In 1895, when Picasso was 14 years old, his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he quickly applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts.  Nevertheless, Picasso chafed at the School of Fine Arts’ strict rules and formalities, and began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed. Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break from the classical methods in which he had been trained, and began what would become a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.

The Blue Period (1901-1904)

Picasso, La vie, 1907

The somber period within which Picasso both personally experienced poverty and its effect on society right around him is characterized by paintings essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. Picasso’s works during this period depict malnutrition, prostitution, and the posthumous portraits of friend Carlos Casagemas after his suicide, culminating in the gloomy allegorical painting La Vie. La Vie (1903) portrayed his friend’s inner torment in the face of a lover he tried to murder.

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nichodesign/10962408074

The Rose Period (1904-1906)

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1905
 

African Influence (1907-1909)

Picasso, Les demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisgett/4693824604

For Picasso, the seminal moment was the Paul Cezanne retrospective held at the Salon d’Automne, one year after the artist’s death in 1906. Though he previously had been familiar with Cezanne, it was not until the retrospective that Picasso experienced the full impact of his artistic achievement. In Cezanne’s works, Picasso found a model of how to distill the essential from nature in order to achieve a cohesive surface that expressed the artist’s singular vision. In about the same time, the aesthetics of traditional African sculpture became a powerful influence among European artists.

Cubism (1909-1919)

Picasso, portrait of Ambroise Vollard, 1910

Image source: https://artishardgr.tumblr.com/image/32933826029

It was a confluence of influences – from Paul Cézanne and Henri Rousseau, to archaic and tribal art – that encouraged Picasso to lend his figures more weight and structure around 1907. And they ultimately set him on the path towards Cubism, in which he deconstructed the conventions of perspective that had dominated Renaissance art. During this period, the style Georges Braque and Picasso developed used mainly neutral colors and was based in they’re “taking apart” objects and “analyzing them” in terms of their shapes.Cubism, especially the second form, known as Synthetic Cubism, played a great role in the development of western art world. Works of this phase emphasize the combination, or synthesis, of forms in the picture. Colour is extremely important in the objects’ shapes because they become larger and more decorative.

Neoclassicism, Surrealism, and Sculpture

With an unsurpassed mastery of technique and skill, Picasso made his first trip to Italy in 1917 and promptly began a period of tribute to neoclassical style. Breaking from the extreme modernism he drew and painted work reminiscent of Raphael and Ingres. This was just a prelude before Picasso seemingly effortlessly began to combine his modernist concepts with his skill into surrealist masterpieces like Guernica, (1937), a frenzied and masterful combination of style that embodies the despair of war.

Picasso, Guernica, 1937

Image source: https://www.analisidellopera.it/guernica-di-pablo-picasso/

Picasso’s final works were a mixed between the many styles he’d embraced throughout his life. He dared to make sculptures larger and his paintings more expressive and colorful. Towards the end of his career, Picasso enjoyed examining Classical works that had influenced his development over the years, and produced several series of variations of paintings of Old Master. When Picasso died at age 91 in April 1973, he had become one of the most famous and successful artist throughout history.


Info sources: https://www.biography.com/artist/pablo-picasso                            https://www.pablopicasso.org/                                                                                            https://www.britannica.com/biography/Pablo-Picasso                                           http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/picasso_pablo.shtml