Pablo Picasso is a well-renowned artist from the early 1900s. He was born on October 25 1881, in Malaga, Spain, where he learned and went to college. Through his father, Don Jose Ruiz Blasco, Pablo Picasso learned new skills and got exposure since his father would take on the duty of teaching him from the age of five. Jose Ruiz used to paint and hold lectures as a professor at a local school teaching art and crafts.
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He taught Pablo his skills and concentrated on Pablo’s classical art education, giving up his art career to primarily teach him. He gave him his equipment when he found him having completed a painting of a pigeon that he had started. His father would later in his life come to paint again (Sateren 7). He influenced and exposed Pablo to many art forms due to his many acquaintances in art school and through exhibitions.
Pablo Picasso’s biography
Pablo visited Paris for the first time with his friend Carlos Casagemas at the age of nineteen. Here, he lived with a friend, Max Jacob, for a while before Carlos passed away. Pablo was forced to sell some of his paintings while he burnt others to keep warm during those hard times when Jacob used to work during the days as Pablo worked during the nights. Jacob was a journalist and a poet while Pablo painted. Pablo once published his first magazine, ‘Arte Joven,’ in Madrid with his friend, Soler, fully illustrating his first edition marking the time when he started signing his paintings as Picasso, instead of using his full names, Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.
His early works are recognized as having been influenced by his family, the father’s exposure, and the passing away of his younger sister, Lola, who was only four at the time. He is believed to have started his real work and career around 1894 when he made a painting called ‘First communion’ at the age of fourteen, depicting his father and his other sister, Lola, standing at a podium as if receiving communion. He is also believed to have started the Cubism movement where artists would flatten cubes and depict items and human forms or cubic forms representing real objects.
Earlier, during a time in his childhood life, when he joined art school, he passed well with his first exam, and the teachers saw it fit to exempt him from two classes and pushed him further ahead to advance his skill. During this time, the art teachers in Spain had employed a system of teaching art in a class where students would draw shapes and append alterations to the shapes till they resembled the intended subject of interest.
This would later come to provide Pablo with the cubism style of art he developed in Paris. He also helped invent collage and assemblage while in Paris. This childhood education developed his style where he would fit objects into shapes. In his later works, where he found grim emotion, he would draw long, thin, half-starved figures representing the period or personality in his life at the time. His initial study influenced his style immensely (Sateren, 9).
Other factors that influenced his artistic style were his love life and many mistresses. Picasso had a few lovers during his teenage and youth years. Among them was a lady known as Fernande Olivier. Fernande must have come later during the period after his blue period, as she is featured in some paintings made between 1905 till 1906. He leaves her for Eva, also referred to as Marcelle Humbert. He had fallen in love with Eva before he finally married Olga Khokhlova. Olga was a troupe member of the ballerinas in Sergei Diaghilev’s troupe. She would later come to be significant in the role of introducing Picasso to Rome’s high society.
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They had one son, Paulo, and after a while, Pablo grew weary of her overly social nature, and they later separated. Pablo went on to meet a young 17-year-old girl by the name Marie-Therese Walter, with who he held a secret love affair (Holloway 194). Picasso never married her, however, despite her undying wish that he eventually would, and four years after he passed in 1973, she hanged herself. He chose to remain in a marriage with Olga due to inconveniences; he did not want to follow the law that was in place at the time since it required him to share his wealth halfway with his separated wife.
Olga later died in 1955, and that was when Pablo went on to have a daughter with Marie-Therese called Maia. His infidelity and unfaithful nature would see him begin an affair with Francoise Gilot, a young art student, around 1944. They had two children, Claude and Paloma. She left him for infidelities around 1953, and Picasso got depressed, realizing he was now old at 70. He met Genevieve Laporte, with whom he had a six-week affair, probably on the rebound before seeking revenge on Gilot later. He convinced Gilot to leave her new lover and husband, and when she had finally filed divorce papers, he secretly married Jacqueline Roque in 1961, who he had met where he was working at Maduora pottery as a potter and painter. He would remain with her till his death on April 8, 1973.
Through his artworks were largely affected by his love life and personal life at the early stages, we see later that when he moved permanently to Paris in 1904, he met other great artists like Henri Matisse, Joan Mirro, and George Braques. He especially admired Henri’s works and became a great fan of French fauvism. He started to feature African artifacts around 1907 (Andersen 248) and went on to venture into cubism between the years 1912 and 1919, where he took the objects he painted apart in his works. Picasso then goes on to study other forms of art, including the use of harlequins in his pieces and the use of wallpaper and newspaper in his paintings. He also went into interpreting other painter’s pieces, like Velazquez, Goya, Manet, and Delacroix, in the early 1950s.
Another advance comes when he starts to use surrealism and classicism in his works. Pablo’s works are mainly classified depending on the period in which he did them; there is a period called the blue period, which lasted from 1900 to 1904. During this period, he worked on paintings that are marked by melancholy, illustrated in his art with the predominant use of blue shades. Later on, from the year 1905 lasting two years till the end of 1906, Pablo exhibited another different style of painting in which he employed the use of bright colors on his paintings, making them livelier than the ones he had made the previous years.
This is what we refer to as the Rose period. The pieces made then were more enlightening in bright colors. During the blue period, he depicted poor and lonely people that he saw, in thin, starved figures with long fingers or bony structures, and used various shades of violet and blue with slight shades of green in his paintings. During the rose period, which came after the blue period, he used light shades of orange and a friendly pink to portray his subjects (Sateren 9).
His experiments with art led to abstract art where objects do not look lifelike, but instead, artists give an impression of people and objects in their creations. Pablo married several, and at times, he met mistresses that led him to paint the events thereafter in his life. He also made grotesque paintings, which were inspired by what he saw while visiting the brothels of Barcelona from 1900 to 1903. In total, we know of about five unique themes he tried to work with. These are the bullfight theme, the crucifixion theme, theatrical themes in the 1934 drawing, Picasso poetry of 1930, and the pregnancy theme.
Upon his death, he had done about 50 000 pieces, including paintings, ceramics, drawings, sculptures and tapestries, and rugs. Pablo didn’t really market most of his paintings, and as a result, he had most of them in his possession. His relatives took it upon themselves to inaugurate a museum back in Spain at this birthplace, the ‘Muse Picasso Malaga,’ dedicated to him. He remains the best-ranked artist of all time, as illustrated by his great works and the extent to which his works are valued and sold around the world.
Andersen, Wayne V. Picasso’s brothel. New York: Other Press, LLC, 2002. Print.
Holloway, Jockisch Memory. Making time: Picasso’s Suite 347. New York: Peter Lang, 2006. Print.
Sateren, Shelly Swanson. Picasso. New York: Capstone Press, 2006. Print.