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Who is Pablo Picasso?

By Kathy Hawkins
Updated May 23, 2024
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Pablo Picasso, whose full name is the lengthy Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso, was a Spanish painter and sculptor. He was born in 1881 and died in 1973. He is widely recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of the 20th century, and was one of the founders of the cubism movement in painting.

As a young man, Pablo Picasso studied art in Madrid, though he never completed his college degree. At the age of nineteen, he moved to Paris, where he would spend most of his life. In Paris, he joined an exclusive social circle that included artists and writers such as Andre Breton and Gertrude Stein. Picasso was married twice, but had many mistresses throughout his life.

The paintings Picasso completed immediately after his move to Paris, from 1901 to 1904, are considered to belong to his "Blue Period." These paintings often featured prostitutes and beggars, and seemed representative of depression, likely due to the suicide of one of Picasso's close friends. The more upbeat paintings that he created between 1905 and 1907 are from the "Rose Period;" between 1907 and 1909, much of his work was inspired by African art.

The Cubism period, which Pablo Picasso began to work in during 1909, is Picasso's most innovative and original artistic phase. Along with fellow artist Georges Braque, Picasso developed a style of painting in which common objects were deconstructed into geometric shapes, such as cubes. Later developments in Picasso's cubism included fragments of newspaper or other papers, as a form of collage.

One of Pablo Picasso's most famous works of art is a painting called Guernica, a giant mural that is named for a Spanish city that was bombed by German Nazis during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The painting, which is acknowledged as one of his greatest works, is seen as a symbolic protest against war and brutality.

In his later years, Pablo Picasso turned to reinterpreting some of the artworks of masters like Goya and Manet. He also created a 50-foot (15 m) high abstract sculpture, which he donated to the city of Chicago, where it is now one of the most familiar and famous landmarks. Today, many of Pablo Picasso's works are among the most expensive works of art in the world; some have been sold for more than $50 million US Dollars.

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Discussion Comments
By anon312595 — On Jan 08, 2013

Was Pablo Picasso against the abstract art?

By CellMania — On Dec 19, 2010

@googie98: Pablo Picasso the old guitarist was a famous painting during the blue period. Pablo Picasso picture and sculptures were only signed by using his last name at this time. Many of his images were melancholy and blue shading was used because of his despair that could be seen in his works over a friend’s death.

Pablo Picasso cubism was the next phase in his works. This was also known as the rose period and was more cheerful. Cubism was an important abstract art movement in the early 1900s. Many artists were attempting to show the subject matter from many viewpoints using an abstracted form and random angles. One of his earliest cubist pieces and, arguably one of the best is a fantastic example of the artistic genre that was called “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon”.

By googie98 — On Dec 16, 2010

What are some of the names of Pablo Picasso artwork?

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