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Pablo Picasso Complete Paintings

Pablo Picasso
Pablo Ruiz Picasso

Pablo Picasso (full name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso) was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His ingenious use of form, color, and perspective profoundly impacted later generations of painters, including Willem de Kooning and David Hockney. “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,” he once said.

Born Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispín Crispiniano María de los Remedios de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso on October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain, his prodigious talent was cultivated early on by his father the painter Jose Ruíz Blasco. Picasso went on to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, and lived for a time in Barcelona before settling in Paris in 1904.

Immersed in the avant-garde circles of Gertrude Stein, he rapidly transitioned from Neo-Impressionism through the Blue Period and Rose Period, before reaching a culmination in his masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).

Constantly in search of pictorial solutions and in dialogue with his friend Georges Braque, Picasso melded forms he saw in African sculpture with the multiple perspectives he gleaned from Paul Cézanne, to produce Cubism.

Not limited to painting, the artist also expressed himself through collage, sculpture, and ceramics. Having been deeply affected by the ongoing Spanish Civil War, Picasso created what is arguably his most overtly political work Guernica (1937), a mural-sized painting depicting carnage with jagged shapes and contrasting grayscale.

The artist was prolific up until his death on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France. Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as institutions devoted solely to his life work, such as the Museo Picasso Málaga, the Museum Picasso in Barcelona, and the Musée National Picasso in Paris.

Picasso’s training under his father began before 1890. His progress can be traced in the collection of early works now held by the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, which provides one of the most comprehensive records extant of any major artist’s beginnings.During 1893 the juvenile quality of his earliest work falls away, and by 1894 his career as a painter can be said to have begun. The academic realism apparent in the works of the mid-1890s is well displayed in The First Communion (1896), a large composition that depicts his sister, Lola. In the same year, at the age of 14, he painted Portrait of Aunt Pepa, a vigorous and dramatic portrait that Juan-Eduardo Cirlot has called “without a doubt one of the greatest in the whole history of Spanish painting.”

In 1897, his realism began to show a Symbolist influence, for example, in a series of landscape paintings rendered in non-naturalistic violet and green tones. What some call his Modernist period (1899–1900) followed. His exposure to the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec and Edvard Munch, combined with his admiration for favourite old masters such as El Greco, led Picasso to a personal version of modernism in his works of this period.

Picasso made his first trip to Paris, then the art capital of Europe, in 1900. There, he met his first Parisian friend, journalist and poet Max Jacob, who helped Picasso learn the language and its literature. Soon they shared an apartment; Max slept at night while Picasso slept during the day and worked at night. These were times of severe poverty, cold, and desperation. Much of his work was burned to keep the small room warm.

During the first five months of 1901, Picasso lived in Madrid, where he and his anarchist friend Francisco de Asís Soler founded the magazine Arte Joven (Young Art), which published five issues. Soler solicited articles and Picasso illustrated the journal, mostly contributing grim cartoons depicting and sympathizing with the state of the poor. The first issue was published on 31 March 1901, by which time the artist had started to sign his work Picasso. From 1898 he signed his works as “Pablo Ruiz Picasso”, then as “Pablo R. Picasso” until 1901. The change does not seem to imply a rejection of the father figure. Rather, he wanted to distinguish himself from others; initiated by his Catalan friends who habitually called him by his maternal surname, much less current than the paternal Ruiz.

Pablo Picasso’s Artworks: The Early Years, before 1900

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