A serious and prematurely world-weary child, the young Picasso possessed a pair of piercing, watchful black eyes that seemed to mark him destined for greatness.
When I was a child, my mother always said, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope’, he later recalled. ‘Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.’– Pablo Picasso
Picasso’s father, who was a teacher at an art school, began teaching him to draw and paint when he was a child, and by the time he was a young adult, his skill level had surpassed his father’s.
The young teenager had his first exhibit at age 13. Soon, Picasso lost all desire to do any schoolwork, choosing to spend the school days doodling in his notebook instead.He was often banished to a bare cell with whitewashed walls and a bench to sit on but he grew to like it, because no one would stop him from drawing there.
When his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, where he quickly applied to the city’s prestigious School of Fine Arts. Picasso’s entrance exam was so extraordinary that he was granted an exception and admitted several years earlier than others. Nevertheless, Picasso began skipping class so that he could roam the streets of Barcelona, sketching the city scenes he observed.
The precocious 19-year-old came to Paris and had already produced hundreds of paintings. Winning favorable reviews, he stayed in to the city to settle permanently.
The work of Picasso, which comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years, is described in a series of overlapping periods. His first notable period–the “blue period”—began shortly after his first Paris exhibit. painted in blue tones to evoke the melancholy world of the poor.
This was followed by the “rose period,” in which he often depicted circus scenes, and then by Picasso’s early work in sculpture. In 1907, Picasso painted the groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human form, broke from previous European art.
“There are artists who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.”
Then came Cubism, an artistic style pioneered by Pablo Picasso and his friend and fellow painter, Georges Braque in 1909.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. At once destructive and creative, Cubism shocked, appalled and fascinated the art world.
After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. Picasso’s work after World War II is less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and enjoyed commercial and critical success. He produced fantastical works, experimented with ceramics, and painted variations on the works of other masters in the history of art.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.– Pablo Picasso
Known for his intense gaze and domineering personality, he had a series of intense and overlapping love affairs in his lifetime. He continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the age of 91.
More than a great artist, Picasso was a phenomenon… There is virtually nothing in modern art that Picasso has not invented, practiced, or at least influenced.