"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

Happy birthday Pablo Picasso!

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Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881—April 8, 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer. He spent much of his career in France. His most famous paintings include Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), among many others which transformed the state of art in the 20th century.

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Picasso was born in Málaga, Spain to Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez and Don José Ruiz Blasco. He showed an interest in drawing at a young age, and his father encouraged his interest by teaching him to draw and paint.

When he was 14 years old, his family moved to Barcelona, Spain. He was accepted into the city's prestigious School of Fine Arts far earlier than was customary. He frequently skipped class to roam the city and draw what he saw. At 16, he moved to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando. There, he was again disappointed with his classes; he became sick of learning about the classics, instead preferring to wander and explore the decrepitude of urban life.

Eventually, he moved back to Barcelona and became entranced by a crowd of radicals he met at at cafe called Els Quatres Gats. By this time, Picasso was sure in his path toward experimentation.

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Picasso moved to Paris at the turn of the century and opened his own studio. His first few years have been categorized by critics as being part of Picasso's "Blue Period," which was characterized by his substantial use of the color blue and marked by his depression associated with the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas. Paintings from this period include "Blue Nude," "La Vie"

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and "The Old Guitarist."

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This gradually transformed into Picasso's "Rose Period," during which his works were sponsored by art dealer Ambroise Vollard and were characterized by heavy uses of beiges, pinks, and reds. Picasso was deeply in love with model Fernande Olivier during this time. Works from this period include "Rose Period," "Family at Saltimbanques,"

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and "Gertrude Stein."

In 1907, his work changed dramatically. He painted "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,"

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which showed five nude prostitutes, their features highly disfigured. This marked the beginning of Picasso's "Cubist" phase, a movement which went on to drastically change art in the 20th century. Other cubist works by Picasso include "Three Women" (1907), "Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table" (1909),

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and "Girl with Mandolin" (1910).

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He followed with his "Classical Period" in which he returned to Realism. Some work from this period include "Three Women at the Spring" (1921), "Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race" (1922)

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and "The Pipes of Pan" (1923).

 

From 1927 on, most all of Picasso's work can be categorized as Surrealist. He painted perhaps his most important painting during the Spanish Civil War, Guernica (1937). It consists of streaks of white, gray, and black, along with several human bodies in various states, depicting the horrors of war.

After World War II, Picasso declared himself a Communist and twice was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize. By his later years, his art was less a point of interest than his persona.

Picasso remains one of the most widely acclaimed artists of modern history, if not the most. His development as an artist is thoroughly catalogued and on display at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona.

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 25 October 2014
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