Picasso was born in 1881 in Spain and died in France in 1972.
Picasso displayed a prodigious talent for drawing at a very young age. Picasso’s father began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child. In 1895, Picasso moved with his family to Barcelona, Spain. Where he quickly applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Few years later he attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. He started his carrier by making illustration for magazine.
Inspired by the anarchists and radicals he met there, Picasso made his decisive break from the classical methods in which he had been trained, and began what would become a lifelong process of experimentation and innovation.
At the turn of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso moved to Paris, France. His studio was at Bateau-Lavoir where he met Max Jacob, Derain, Apollinaire, Matisse and George Braque.
Inspired by the work of El Greco, he painted scenes of poverty, isolation and anguish, almost exclusively in shades of blue and green.
By 1905, Picasso had largely overcome the depression that had previously debilitated him. The artistic manifestation of Picasso’s improved spirits was the introduction of warmer colors—including beiges, pinks and reds—in what is known as his “Rose Period” (1904-06).
Break into Cubism
In 1907, Pablo Picasso produced a painting unlike anything he or anyone else had ever painted before, a work that would profoundly influence the direction of art in the 20th century: “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” a chilling depiction of five nude prostitutes, abstracted and distorted with sharp geometric features and stark blotches of blues, greens and grays. Today, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is considered the precursor and inspiration of Cubism, an artistic style pioneered by Picasso and his friend and fellow painter, Georges Braque.
In Cubist paintings, objects are broken apart and reassembled in an abstracted form, highlighting their composite geometric shapes and depicting them from multiple, simultaneous viewpoints in order to create physics-defying, collage-like effects.
From 1927 onward, Picasso became caught up in a new philosophical and cultural movement known as Surrealism, the artistic manifestation of which was a product of his own Cubism.
In 1937, Picasso, outraged by the bombing and the inhumanity of war, painted “Guernica.” Painted in black, white and grays, the work is a Surrealist testament to the horrors of war, and features a minotaur and several human-like figures in various states of anguish and terror. “Guernica” remains one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.
Pablo Picasso continued to create art and maintain an ambitious schedule in his later years, superstitiously believing that work would keep him alive. He died on April 8, 1973, at the age of 91, in Mougins, France. His legacy, however, has long endured. He is inarguably one of the most celebrated and influential painters of the 20th century.