when was picasso born
In 1907 Picasso painted ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’, a revolutionary work that introduced a major new style – ‘Cubism’. Picasso worked closely with the French artist Georges Braque in the development of this style. Picasso‘s next major innovation, in 1912, was ‘Collage’, attaching pieces of cloth, newspaper or advertising to his paintings.
Pablo Ruiz was born in Malaga on 25 October 1881, the son of an art teacher. He later adopted his mother’s maiden name of Picasso. He grew up in Barcelona, showing artistic talent at an early age. In the early 1900s, he moved between France and Spain before finally settling in Paris in 1904. There he experimented with a number of styles and produced his own original ones, reflected in his ‘Blue’ and ‘Rose’ periods.
During this nascent period of Picasso‘s life, he painted portraits, such as his sister Lola’s First Communion. As the 19th century drew to a close, elements of Symbolism and his own interpretation of Modernism began to be apparent in his stylized landscapes.
Picasso attended the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, where his father taught, at 13 years of age. In 1897, Picasso began his studies at Madrid’s Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, which was Spain’s top art academy at the time. Picasso attended only briefly, preferring to roam the art exhibits at the Prado, studying works by El Greco, Francisco Goya, Diego Veláquez and Zurbáran.
In painting, even the development of cubism fails to define Picasso‘s genius. About 1915, and again in the early 1920s, he turned away from abstraction and produced drawings and paintings in a realistic and serenely beautiful classical style. One of the most famous of these works is the Woman in White (1923). Painted just two years after the Three Musicians, the quiet and unobtrusive (not calling attention to itself) elegance of this masterpiece testifies to the ease with which Picasso could express himself pictorially.
In the second half of 1904 Picasso‘s style took a new direction. In these paintings the color became more natural, delicate, and tender in its range, with reddish and pink tones dominating the works. Thus this period was called his Pink Period. The most celebrated example of this phase is the Family of Saltimbanques (1905). Picasso‘s work between 1900 and 1905 was generally flat, emphasizing the two-dimensional character of the painting surface. Late in 1905, however, he became increasingly interested in pictorial volume. This interest seems to have been influenced by the late paintings of Paul Cézanne (1839–1906).
Picasso’s father was a professor of drawing, and he bred his son for a career in academic art. Picasso had his first exhibit at age 13 and later quit art school so he could experiment full-time with modern art styles. He went to Paris for the first time in 1900, and in 1901 was given an exhibition at a gallery on Paris’ rue Lafitte, a street known for its prestigious art galleries. The precocious 19-year-old Spaniard was at the time a relative unknown outside Barcelona, but he had already produced hundreds of paintings. Winning favorable reviews, he stayed in Paris for the rest of the year and later returned to the city to settle permanently.
In Cubism, which is divided into two phases, analytical and synthetic, Picasso and Braque established the modern principle that artwork need not represent reality to have artistic value. Major Cubist works by Picasso included his costumes and sets for Sergey Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1917) and The Three Musicians (1921). Picasso and Braque’s Cubist experiments also resulted in the invention of several new artistic techniques, including collage.
It was in Barcelona that Picasso first matured as a painter. He frequented the Els Quatre Gats, a cafГ© popular with bohemians, anarchists, and modernists. And he came to be familiar with Art Nouveau and Symbolism, and artists such as Edvard Munch and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. It was here that he met Jaime Sabartes, who would go on to be his fiercely loyal secretary in later years. This was his introduction to a cultural avant-garde, in which young artists were encouraged to express themselves.
During the years from 1900 to 1904, Picasso traveled frequently, spending time in Madrid and Paris, in addition to spells in Barcelona. Although he began making sculpture during this time, critics characterize this time as his Blue Period, after the blue/grey palette that dominated his paintings. The mood of the work was also insistently melancholic. One might see the beginnings of this in the artist’s sadness over the suicide of Carlos Casegemas, a friend he had met in Barcelona, though the subjects of much of the Blue Period work were drawn from the beggars and prostitutes he encountered in city streets. The Old Guitarist (1903) is a typical example of both the subject matter and the style of this phase.