Pablo Picasso

The most well-known name in the modern art world and one of the most influential artists ever to have lived. His distinctive style and innovative drive for artistic creation have had a long-lasting impact on the art world.

Born in Spain in 1881, the young Picasso began painting at the age of seven, tutored initially by his father before later going on to study at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts. 

Thought to have created some 50,000 artworks, including paintings, prints and sculptures, Picasso’s work is often categorised into periods:

  • The Blue Period - 1901-04
  • The Rose Period - 1904-06
  • African Influence - 1907-09
  • Cubism - 1909-19
  • Neoclassicism and Surrealism - 1919-29
  • Later works - 1929 onwards

The opening years of the twentieth century saw Picasso spending his time between Madrid and Paris.

Picasso’s unique style developed and progressed throughout these opening years but really began to form and take root after his exposure to the African artefacts in the Palais du Trocadero in 1907.

As an innovative artist that was obsessed with creative experimentation, Picasso was responsible for co-founding the Cubist movement alongside Georges Braque. The avant-garde Cubism art movement forever changed the face of European art and not just painting, but also sculpture, architecture, literature and music.

Cubism was so profound a movement that it had extensive reach even whilst Picasso and Braque were laying the groundwork for it between 1909-19, inspiring offshoot movements in other countries.

No fan of Fascists, Picasso refused to leave Paris during the occupation and he became a symbol of the Resistance. Because Picasso’s work didn’t fit the Nazi ideals of art and was viewed by them as degenerate, he didn’t exhibit at this time, but he remained in his studio in Paris until its liberation in 1944.

Once the war was over, Picasso lived mostly in the South of France, experimenting with ceramics and shifting his creative focus to sculpture.

Pablo Picasso was a prolific creative master, obsessed with experimentation and stylistic versatility, and before the age of 50, Picasso has become the most renowned name in Modern Art, with the most recognisable and distinctive style and flair for creativity. 

There had never been another artist before Picasso who had such a large following and profound impact on the art world as he did. Most of the revolutionary changes and developments that the visual arts underwent in Picasso’s lifetime were inspired by his extensive influence and powerful drive for experimentation.

The co-founder of Cubism, credited also with inventing constructed sculpture and for the co-invention of the collage art style. Picasso is also attributed as one one three artists that defined the elements of plastic arts.

After a long and creatively productive life, Picasso died in 1973 and was buried in the garden of the Chateau de Vauvenargues with the bronze of La Femme Au Varles of 1933 placed on his grave.

Artist Pablo Picasso

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