Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was one of the founders of Cubism. He was born in Malaga on October 25, 1881; his parents were Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco, painter and teacher of drawing, and Maria Picasso y Lopez.
His parents understood his artistic talent very soon and they introduced him to the study of the big artists and to the painting.
During his early life, his family moved first to A Coruña, and after 4 years to Barcelona because of his father’s job. Barcelona was really inspiring for Picasso, especially because it was the period of the Catalan modernism.
In 1897 Picasso moved to Madrid where he attended the “Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando“.
In one year he went back to Barcelona, where he started to attend the “Els Quatre Gats“, a bar frequented by all the most important artists of that period, and where he met Carlos Casagemas, who became one of his best friends. His death, in 1901, inspired his artistic period known as “Blue Period“. In this period, all his paints have lifeless colours, mostly blue, and the characters are lifeless as well. One of the most known work of this period is “The old Guitarist“: it is an oil painting made in 1903, portraing an old, blind, begging man, playing a big Guitar on a sidewalk. It is preserved at the “Art Institute” of Chicago.
Picasso lived several years in Paris where he hanged out with a lot of artists, and where he produced a lot of his works. In this carefree period he changed his style and started his “Rose Period“.
In 1907 Picasso made the first Cubist work: “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon“, now preserved at the MOMA in New York. It is an oil painting, and portrays five prostitutes in a brothel in Barcelona: we can notice that none of the characters have the traditionals shapes of a woman.
From this time on, with the support of Braque, he dedicated his life to the improvement of this avant-garde art style.
Between World War I and World War II, he moved to different cities, working at different paints. One of the most famous is “Guernica“, realized during the civil war in Spain. It represents what happend to the town of Guernica in Spain: German airplanes bombed civilians, most of all kids and women. Today we can see it at the “Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia” of Madrid.
Picasso died in 1973 at Mouges, at the age of 91, for a pulmonary oedema. It seems that his last words were “drink to my health“!
Did you know the story of this gifted artist? And what is your favourite Picasso’s work?