Born in Malaga on October 25th 1881, Pablo Picasso – famous Spanish artist, painter and sculptor-dies on April 8th 1973 aged 91. He is considered to be one of the fathers of Cubism and among the most influent artists of the 20th century. A lifetime of artwork gave birth to about 50 000 masterpieces in the forms of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, tapestries, sketchbooks and prints.
Fully supported by his father, a painting teacher, Picasso achieves his first works at the age of 8. In 1896, he is accepted at Llotja, Barcelona’s School of Fine Arts, where his work is strongly influenced by Catalan Modernism.
His painting ‘Les Derniers Moments’ represents Spain during the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris.
He then decides to settle there with his friend Carlos Casegemas. A few months later, the sadness at his friend’s suicide leads him into his Blue Period (1901-1904) under the themes of death, old age and poverty. Another year and meeting Fernande Olivier open the door into his Pink Period, featuring happiness and the meaning of life.
In May 1906, during a stay with his companion, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon sees the light as one of the starting point of Cubism. This art movement consists in disintegrating objects and reassembling them into geometrical shapes. Between 1907 and 1914, Picasso and Georges Braque achieve several cubist masterpieces. Numerous artists will follow such as Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes and Francis Picabia.
In 1925, under the influence of various poets, Picasso turns to Surrealism and his work expresses the violence of his private hell through deformed and convulsive creatures.
The bombing of Guernica during the Spanish civil war in 1937 inspired Picasso his famous Guernica painting. About his art the painter will later say: ‘[…] painting is not interior decoration. It is an instrument of war for attack and defence against the enemy.’ Very much involved in the anti-war movement, Picasso joins the International Peace Council in 1949 and is awarded an International Peace Prize in 1955.
For more information about Pablo Picasso’s inspirations, please click here!