Pablo Picasso Is Born – 10/25/1881

World History |


Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain and is one of the most influential artists to come out of the 20th century.

Pablo’s father groomed his son to make academic art his career since he was a drawing professor. By the time he was 13, Picasso had his first exhibit and would later experiment full-time focusing on modern art styles once he quit art school. Pablo made his first trip to Paris in 1900 and it took one year later to display his exhibition located in a gallery on Paris’ rue Lafitte; this street was famous for having reputable art galleries. The intelligent Spaniard at age 19 was not well-known at this time outside of Barcelona yet he had produced paintings numbered in the hundreds! Considering he had received positive reviews, he decided to return to the city to settle down indefinitely after staying in Paris until the year’s end.

Picasso’s work, comprising of more than 50,000 ceramics, paintings, sculptures, drawings and engravings created over a period of 80 years, is known in a group of overlapping periods. The first memorable period, the blue period, begins quickly after his first exhibit in Paris. Pablo painted in blue tones to bring out the melancholy life of poor individuals such as seen in The Old Guitarist” in 1903. This period led to the “rose period” where his focus was often on scenes in a circus as well as his early pieces in sculpture. The painting known as “Les Demoiselles d”Avignon” was his groundbreaking work in 1907 in that the distorted and fragmented representation of the form of a human was a drastic change from prior European art. The painting showed the influence on him of Paul Cezanne and African mask art that appears as the forerunner of the movement known as Cubism; this was discovered by the French painter Georges Braque and Picasso in 1909.

Cubism is separated into two parts known as the synthetic and analytical. Both Braque and Pablo established the modern rule that works of art can represent things outside of reality while having artistic value. Picasso’s major Cubist pieces included his sets and costumes for Sergey Diaghilev’s “The Three Musicians” in 1921 and “Ballets Russes” three years prior. Braque and Picasso’s experiments included inventions of many new artistic procedures which include collage.

Moving forward, he decided to explore Mediterranean both classical images and themes of anguish and violence appeared increasingly in his work. This trend climaxed in his masterpiece “Guernica” done in 1937 that was a monumental piece that invoked the suffering and horror felt by the Basque town of Guernica when it was devastated during the Spanish Civil War by German war planes. During the Nazi occupation, Picasso remained in Paris although intensely against fascism and decided to be a part of the French Communist Party after the war.

Picasso continued to work hard and achieved both critical and commercial success however his work is not as recognized as his earlier works. Picasso painted his own vision on work created by other historical masters of art, produced astonishing works and toyed around with ceramics. His life was filled with many overlapping and intense love affairs due to his domineering personality and intense gaze. Until his death in 1973 at 91-years-old, he created art with a never-ending passion. 

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