Birth: October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain
Death: 8 April 1973 in Mougins, France (age 91)
Associated Art Movement: Cubism
Wifes/Partners: Marcelle Humbert, Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Françoise Gilot, Dora Maar, Jacqueline Roque, Geneviève Laporte

"He was a superstitious, sarcastic man, sometimes rotten to his children, often beastly to his women. He had contempt for women artists. His famous remark about women being "goddesses or doormats" has rendered him odious to feminists, but women tended to walk into both roles open-eyed and eagerly, for his charm was legendary. Whole cultural industries derived from his much mythologized virility. He was the Minotaur in a canvas-and-paper labyrinth of his own construction."
  • Time Magazine

What what his father's role in art?
His father was painter of nature, birds and game. He taught Pablo how to draw figures and oil paint at an early age. In 1891, his dad became a professor at the School of Fine Arts. One day, his father found Pablo painting over his unfinished drawing of a pigeon. Observing his son, he vowed to give up painting after realizing 13-year-old Picasso had surpassed him.

Where did he study?
His family moved to Barcelona after the death of his sister. Pablo studied at School of Fine Arts where his father was transferred to teach and was admitted at age 13. His father then sent him to Madrid's Royal Academy of San Fernando, the best art school in the country. He didn't like formal instruction and stopped attending class soon after enrollment.

Who were Pablo's influences?
In Madrid, he admired El Greco's works. Some of his elements, like elongated limbs, arresting colors, and mystical visages are echoed in Picasso's works.
In 1900, he visited the art capital of Europe: Paris. He met Fernande Olivier, a female Bohemian artist who became his mistress (she appears in many Rose period paintings). After gaining some fame and fortune, he lefft her for Marcelle Humbert, whom he called Eva. He had many mistresses over time in addition to his current wife or primary partner. Picasso was married twice and had four children by three women. Women were often the subject and obsession of his paintings.

Nude in a Black Armchair (1932) of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter

How did he escape the Nazis?
Even though the Nazis thought of his work as degenerate (modern, un-German in nature), his fame protected him during the German occupation of Paris. At this time he lived in Paris. Even after the war, Picasso praised Joseph Stalin, a mass murderer who killed more than Hitler - but barely received criticism for it, even in cold war America.

What are Picasso's periods?
Picasso's work is often categorized into periods. While the names of many of his later periods are debated, the most commonly accepted periods are the Blue Period (1901-1904), the Rose Period (1905-1907), the African Period (1908-1909), and Cubism. See below for a further explanation of these periods.

Blue Period (1901-1904)
During this time he used low lighting, sombre moods and gloomy characters in his paintings. The colour blue in these works reflect melacholy and sentimentality. During this time, Picasso's close friend Carlos Casagemas had committed suicide. Below is The Old Guitarist.

Rose Period (1905-1907)
During this time, Pablo lightened his palette to dominant tones of beige or rose. The subject matter also is less depressing. This period includes the first appearances of circus performers and clowns that would be included throughout his career. Below is Garçon à la pipe (Boy with a Pipe).

African Period (1908-1909)
Pablo Picasso painted in a style during this period which was strongly influenced by African sculpture. Below is Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Chicks from Avignon). Here you begin to clearly see the style of Cubism at work.

Cubism (1901-1904)
Cubism is a style of artistic technique that Picasso pioneered. In cubism, objects are fragmented and put together abstractly as if seen from different angles at the same time.

Other Notable Works

Guernica was painted in 1937 and depicts the Nazi German bombing of Guernica, Spain, during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The Spanish government commissioned Pablo Picasso to paint this mural (oil on canvas) at Paris' 1937 World Fair. This painting has become a famous anti-war symbol. It is 11 feet tall and 26 feet wide. A copy of Picasso's Guernica is displayed on the wall of the United Nations building in New York City.

PABLO PICASSO, Lithograph 

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