where 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.
Picasso now moved from style to style, experimenting with painting and sculpture and becoming involved with the Surrealist movement. In 1937, he produced ‘Guernica’, a painting inspired by the destruction of the town in northern Spain by German bombers during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso supported the Republican government fighting General Francisco Franco, and never returned to Spain after Franco’s victory.
For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to the whole development of modern art in the 20th century, notably through the invention of Cubism (with the artist Georges Braque) about 1907. Building on the work of 19th-century art movements, Cubism radically changed the course of representation by acknowledging the illusionistic tricks required to depict three-dimensional objects on a flat canvas. In rejecting the naturalism that Western artists had favoured since the Renaissance, Cubism consequently changed the ways in which people think about the role of art. It ushered in the abstract movements of the 20th century and continues to influence the art of the 21st. Picasso never kept within stylistic boundaries, and he continued to experiment with different approaches and media into the last decade of his life.
Pablo Picasso was the son of José Ruiz Blasco, a professor of drawing, and Maria Picasso López. His unusual adeptness for drawing began to manifest itself early, around the age of 10, when he became his father’s pupil in A Coruña, where the family moved in 1891. From that point his ability to experiment with what he learned and to develop new expressive means quickly allowed him to surpass his father’s abilities. In A Coruña his father shifted his own ambitions to those of his son, providing him with models and support for his first exhibition there at age 13.
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.
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 2005, another exhibition centre opened at number 13 in the Plaza de la Merced.
Also noteworthy are the notebooks of preparatory drawings for the work “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” which marked the beginning of his “African Period” or “Protocubism”, which gave rise to the artistic movement of cubism, and of which Picasso is the greatest exponent. The 84 drawings are complemented by a repertoire of graphic work covering the period from 1905-1971.
His romantic partner of seven years, Fernande Olivier, figured in many of the artist’s Cubist works, including Head of a Woman, Fernande (1909). Historians believe she also appeared in “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Their relationship was tempestuous, and they separated for good in 1912.
In 1900, Picasso first went to Paris, the center of the European art scene. He shared lodgings with Max Jacob, a poet and journalist who took the artist under his wing. The two lived in abject poverty, sometimes reduced to burning the artist’s paintings to stay warm.