Biography of Pablo Picasso | The great Spanish painter revolutionized all the art forms of the 20th century

Biography of Pablo Picasso

The great Spanish painter revolutionized all the art forms of the 20th century and was able to maintain its historical and social commitment.

Outstanding figure as an artist and as a man, Picasso was actor and inimitable creator of the various currents that revolutionized the art of the 20th century, from Cubism to neofigurativa sculpture, engraving or etching to craft ceramics or the scenery for ballets. His vast work in number, variety and talent, stretches more than seventy-five years of creative activity, which the painter he wisely combined with love, politics, friendship and an exultant and contagious enjoyment of life.

Pablo Picasso
Famous since youth, admired and requested by the famous and powerful, was essentially a Spanish easy, healthy and generous, endowed with a formidable ability to work, in love with the Bohemian neighbourhoods of Paris, the Mediterranean sun, of the bulls, the ordinary people and beautiful women, hobby which grew without fainting.
Pablo Diego José Ruiz Picasso, then known by her maiden name, was born on October 25, 1881, in the No. 36 of the plaza de la Merced in Malaga, as eldest son of the marriage formed by the Basque painter José Ruiz Blasco and the Andalusian María Picasso López. The father was a Professor of drawing at the Provincial School of Arts and crafts, known as school San Telmo. Early childhood of Pablo passed between the economic difficulties of the family and a close relationship between father and son, both grown with devotion. The child was one school less than discreet, very lazy and very distracted, but with early facility for drawing, which don José stimulated.
In 1891 the family moved to La Coruna, at the Instituto da Guarda are required the services of the father as a teacher. Paul started his pictorial essays, and three years later his father and first teacher gives his own brushes and easels, admired to the talent of his son. In 1895, Ruiz Blasco obtains an as teacher at the Escola d'Arts i Oficis de la Llotja in Barcelona. Paul resolves to one day test exercises planned for one month, and is admitted to the school. In 1896, only fifteen years, installed its first workshop in the Silver Street of Barcelona.
Two years later, obtained an honorable mention at the great exhibition in Madrid for his work science and charity, still an academic realism, in which the father has served as a model for the figure of a physician. The distinction stimulates it to render opposition to the course in advance at the Academia de San Fernando, while his works, influenced by El Greco and Toulouse-Lautrec, earn new medals in Madrid and Malaga.
In 1898 made his first individual exhibition in Els Quatre Gats of Barcelona. Finally, in the autumn of the year 1900 makes a visit to Paris to see the Universal exhibition. There sells three drawings to the art dealer Petrus Mañach, who offers 150 francs monthly to all his work for one year. Paul is a professional artist, and decides to sign only with the maternal surname. In 1901 he co-edits in Madrid the ephemeral art young magazine, and in March traveled again to Paris, where he met Max Jacob and begins what will be then called his 'blue period'. The following year he exhibited his first Parisian exhibition at the Berthe Weill Gallery, and in 1904 decided to move permanently to the French capital.

Picasso and Miró in the Spanish Pavilion
the international fair of Paris (1917)
Picasso is installed at the famous Bateau-Lavoir, number 13 of the street Ravignan (today plaza Hodeau), variously shared accommodation for artists without white, among others the also Spanish Juan Gris. There, Paul locks friendship with Braque, Apollinaire, and falls in love with Fernanda Olivier. Three years paints and draws without ceasing, yielded to the influence of Cézanne, while made with Braque guidelines of analytical Cubism, whose great experimental work, the young ladies of Avignon, is painted by Picasso in 1907.
Soon ensues the astonishment and the scandal before a deformed style that breaks all the canons and is gaining new adherents, while his bold inventor exhibited in Munich (1909) and New York (1911). Paul has found a new partner in Marcelle Humbert, and always followed by Braque, cast to invent synthetic Cubism, which brings them to the edge of abstraction (in his extensive and diverse work, Picasso never would leave the figuration). Soon after, it moves from Montmartre to Montparnasse, and opens his exhibitions in London and Barcelona.
In 1914, with war, become tragedies: Braque and Apollinaire are mobilized, and Marcelle died suddenly this autumn. Paul leaves practically Cubism, and seeks other artistic paths. They are found in 1917, when by Jean Cocteau met Diaghilev, he entrusts him the decorations of the ballet Parade of Eric Satie. The end of the war brings you a new love, the dancer Olga Clochlova, and also a new headache: the death of Apollinaire resulted from a serious wound in the head. He married Olga in 1918, and until 1925 works in various ballets that runway to its pictorial evolution.
An old portrait of her mother, painted in 1918, will be worth to him the millionaire award Carnegie of 1930, which allows you to purchase a grand country villa in Boisgelup, and passed more than one year traveling in Spain. Then he returned to sculpture and has an affair with Teresa Walter, he was born their first daughter, Maya. The Clochlova starts a scandalous trial to get the divorce, which the judge refuses to grant. Jilted, Picasso falls for Dora Maar.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Picasso supports firmly the Republican side, and symbolically accepted the direction of the Prado Museum, while in 1937 painting Guernica in Paris. Two years later is a great anthological exhibition at the Museum of modern art in New York. Depressed by the triumph of the national and the subsequent occupation of France by the nazis, passes most of the second world war working on their refuge of Royan.
In 1944, he joined the French Communist Party and unveils 77 new works in the Salon d'Automne. After it gets excited by lithography and the young and beautiful painter Françoise Guillot, live with that until 1946. Thus begins their stage of Vallauris, where he works on his magnificent ceramics. With Françoise have two children: Claude, born in 1947, and Paloma in 1949.
In 1954, the indefatigable old man is fascinated by a mysterious teenage girl of delicate profile and long blond hair named Sylvette D., who agrees to pose for him in Exchange for one of the portraits, your choice. Complies with the treatment and its result produces some of the works most known and reproduced the painter, as the famous profile of Sylvette in green armchair.
If the fascination with the Ethereal Sylvette had been Platonic, did not have the same complexion their attraction by Jacqueline Roqué, young of extraordinary beauty which took as a partner in 1957, a year before painting the gigantic mural for UNESCO. Fertile miracle of art and life, Picasso will continue creating, loving, working and living intensely to death in 1973. He left after of the largest and richest personal artistic work of our century, and a fabulous heritage that led to bitter disputes to be a being of Pacific name: Dove, her daughter.

Timeline of Pablo Picasso

1881Born in Málaga.
1895He moved with his family to Barcelona.
1898First solo exhibition at Els Quatre Gats, in Barcelona.
1900First trip to Paris.
1901Starts the blue period, so called by the predominance of the shades of blue and characterized by its pessimistic sign theme: human misery and marginalization are represented with slightly elongated figures.
1904He settled definitely in Paris. The pink, more vital, period in which predominates the thematic circus begins.
1907PT Les demoiselles d'Avignon, so revolutionary conception that the box is rejected even by painters and art critics.
1908First Cubist paintings.
1912First Papiers collés or collages.
1925Although he never joined the surrealist movement, there are the first signs of the influence of this current in his works.
1931He works on his first sculptures.
1937The Guernicapainting, mural inspired by the bombing of this Basque city, for which outlined more than 60 preparatory sketches.
1944It joins the French Communist Party.
1946He began a stage dedicated to ceramics.
1958He paints the mural the fall of Icarus for the building of the Unesco, in Paris.
1961Installed in Mougins.
1973Died in Mougins.

Works by Pablo Picasso

The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso summarizes all changes and the scientific, social and symbolic meanings of the pictorial art of the 20th century. It is the key to painting and in general of the art of our time. They are obvious morphological contributions, the revolution of forms in his work, but more significant is its relationship with society and the time in which they lived. On the first aspect, is the representative figure from Cubism; in the second, one of the peaks of expressionism, while it will never appear between their groups and will act independently.

Portrait of Picasso (1906)
His stylistic and thematic evolution draws an exciting itinerary, which amazes the diversity of records, multiple possibilities the pictorial language has to portray to society or the problems of an era.

Blue and pink stages

Its early stages correspond to the figurative art. In the so-called Blue period dominates a pathetic sentiment, expressed with a single colour which was possibly inspired by ideas discussed in the tertulia modernist Barcelona of "Els Quatre Gats". Installed in Paris, leaned decidedly by blue monochrome to highlight the melody lines in a sample of mourners characters. The Picasso of twenty years seems moved by the suffering and portrays a world of beggars and blind of emaciated bodies and heads due.
In the next stage, the rose period, gradually combines the friendlier tones to capture the world of the circus with its jugglers and acrobats. If you compare the frugal meal of the blue period portraits or scenes from circus to the rose period, are perceived, beyond the differences between sympathetic sadness and a certain serenity accepted, deepening in the observation of the man and the social environments. His life in the Parisian "Bateau Lavoir" had the same intensity as the Barcelona modernist cenacles, and those experiences were carried to the fabric.


Picasso would happen within a few years of expressive forms at the level of symbolic forms. The revolution began with Les demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), manifesto of the art of the 20th century, whose gestation Picasso demanded a months work. Several notebooks of notes and changes in the composition and the figures led to the women's group, where human corporeality and the faces were intensified through deformation.
The influence of African art and the legacy of Iberian art led Picasso to rehearse this new Anatomy full of omens terrible, as if it buceara not yet explored levels of human reality. It was the manifesto of cubism, running that would occupy the painter activity during ten years, although its geometric conquests disappearing in all subsequent production.

Classicism, surrealism, expressionism

The drama of the Cubist figures chimed perfectly with the disasters of the war. At the end of the war, Picasso, without abandoning Cubism (as seen in three musicians of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, from 1923), starts the stage called Classicist, characterized by the representation of the movement in the sets for the ballets Russes of Diaghilev.

Three musicians
1925 changed the theme and some authors speak of surrealistic phase. Indeed, in some works seem to approaching trials of dream-like representation. Not hiding his analytical pupil threatening phenomena, including the rise of fascism, but on the other hand I knew that most of the inhabitants of the cities lived in degraded environments. To express the experiences of fear or insecurity towards the future starts deformations that characterized to expressionism. It is the period of the metamorphoses, based first in curves and ellipses soothing, then angles and energetic strokes that translate a tormented spirit.
The climax of expressionist tension will be reached during the Spanish civil war. Guernica is, rather than a specific scene, a symbol, which is waived to colour and chromatic range is reduced to a kind of grisaille. The flames, the Warrior died with the flower in his hand, the wounded horse, are symbols of the pain of the war. Sat figures express the pain as a snarl. And a scream, more than one articulated Word, come to witness this work.
During World War II insists dramatic issues, such as steer skull (1942), combining the pain of war in the occupied France and which the artist feels for the death of his friend, the sculptor Julio González. After the war begins a period of calm in the Picasso art. It is time the pigeons and the balconies open to the blue of the Mediterranean. Although the war of Korea put a parenthesis to these idyllic views with new testimonies about the cruelty and suffering.

To rise to the occasion

Clear is the historical dimension in the work of the great Spanish painter; because its goal is not coded in search of beauty but in testifying and clarify the major social processes. Well said once: "the artist works on himself and his time, working to give clarity to his conscience and his contemporaries of himself and of his time". The harmonious form of other centuries of art reflected a harmonic conception of man; torn Picasso shape translates the suffering of the people of our time.
In the midst of their symbols and their unceasing renewal, it is possible to detect a constant, the sensitivity for the time, reflected in the alternating periods of calm and dramatic. But at all times kept alive Picasso his painful obsession with the man who suffers. From the blue blind to the cries of the expressionist paintings is constant compassionate meditation on the artist on his contemporaries.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
Biographies of historical figures and personalities