Pablo Picasso was the greatest and most significant artist in the beginning of the twentieth century. Best known as the father of Cubism, Picasso also made important contributions to Surrealism and Symbolism and he was the inventor of collage. Although he primarily saw himself as a painter, Picasso's sculpture work was highly significant, in addition he explored printmaking and ceramics. Pablo had a charismatic personality and was involved in many relationships with women which directed his path and filtered into his work. Biography
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, into an artistic family. Pablo's father was a painter and a drawing teacher. It wasn't long before Pablo indicated that he would follow in his father's footsteps. According to his mother, Pablo's first word was “piz” which was short for the Spanish would meaning pencil. Pablo's first art teacher was his father. At the age of 11, Pablo began his formal study of art. Many of Picasso's works created in his teen years still exist, one example of this is First Communion (1895). Pablo's father sought the best education he could afford for his son. In addition, they visited Madrid to observe works by old Spanish masters. In 1895, Pablo's father landed a position at La Lonja, the school of Fine Arts in Barcelona, the family moved there and Pablo continued his education in art. Picasso first matured as a painter in Barcelona. He often visited a cafe known as the Els Quatre Gats. This cafe was popular with anarchists, bohemians and modernists. He gained familiarity with the movements of Symbolism and Art Nouveau, and artist like Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Edvard Munch. It was at the Els Quatre Gats cafe that Picasso met Jamie Sabartes, who later would become his loyal secretary. This marked Pablo's introduction to the avant-garde. From 1900 to 1904, Picasso frequently traveled, spending time in Paris and Madrid in addition to Barcelona. Although he started working on sculptures during this time, critics coined this time as his Blue Period because of the blue/green palette that prevailed in his paintings. In 1904, Picasso's palette started to brighten. For a little over a year he painted in a style that became known as his Rose Period. During this time his palette contained varying shades of reds and pinks. About 1906 Picasso met George Braque. At this time his palette darkened, his images became heavier and more solid and he began on the path toward Cubism. Critics had once dated the beginnings of Cubism to Pablo's early masterpiece Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907). Now, that work is viewed as transitional as it lacks the extreme distortions of his later works. Nevertheless, as it was greatly influenced by African sculpture and ancient Iberian art, it was obviously significant in Pablo's development. This same work is believed to have inspired Braque to create his own beginning series of Cubist works. In the years to come, Braque and Picasso would mount one of the most notable alliances in modern art, at times eagerly learning from one another, sometimes trying to outshine each other. They visited each other every day during their creation of this technique. Picasso and Braque worked only in earth tones and depicted objects in splintered configurations. In 1912 Picasso developed collage. From Braque he learned the similar technique of papier colles, which used paper cutouts along with fragments of existing materials. This phase became known as the synthetic phase of Cubism. This method made way for more decorative and whimsical works an Picasso continued to use this style into the 1920s.
Late in the 1920s, Picasso started a partnership with sculptor Julio Gonzalez. This was his most important artistic relationship since Braque. During this time, he created some welded metal sculptures which were greatly influential. In the 1930s political worries began to influence Picasso's work. His...
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