Life of Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain on October 25, 1881. He was the son of Jose Ruiz, and Maria Picasso. Rather than adopt the common name Ruiz, the young Picasso took the unique name of his mother. Even though his family was middle class, his father was a professor of art at the School of Crafts. He was also a painter specialized in naturalistic depictions of birds. At the age of 7, Picasso’s father taught him the traditional ways of drawing and oil painting. At age 14, Picasso completed the one-month qualifying examination of the Academy of Fine Arts in Barcelona in one day. From there he went to the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, returning in 1900 to Barcelona. Even though Picasso spent most of his life Paris, Barcelona was still considered to be his real home. At the end of the 19th century, Picasso was sent off on his own to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando for the very first time. Soon he began to stop attending classes and that was when he wanted to go to the most famous place for young artist, Paris. Just a year after his arrival, his friend, Carlos Casagemas committed suicide. After this terrible event Picasso’s life began to change. The years of 1900 to 1904 were known as the “blue period” because of the blue tone of Picasso’s paintings. During this period, he would spend his days in Paris studying the masterworks at the Louvre and his nights enjoying the company of fellow artists at cabarets. Starting in a late part of 1901, he painted several postmortem portraits of Carlos. The year 1904 marked a drastic change in color and mood for Picasso. He became fascinated with acrobats, clowns and wandering families of the circus world. He started to paint in delicate pinks and grays, often highlighted with brighter tones. This was known as his “rose period.” Picasso’s rose period began in the year 1904, and lasted until 1906. He was about 24 years old when he went to France again. The start of this period was because of Ferande Oliver. She was the first of many companions to affect the theme, style, and mood of his work. During this time the colors in his paintings became brighter and warmer, and the moods become happier. He often used the colors pink and red. During this period Picasso painted “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” considered the watershed picture of the twentieth century, and met Georges Braque. Even though Braque was the leading artist of the Cubism movement, it was an equal creation of both him and Picasso. From 1911 to 1912, the two men were in frequent contact. For Picasso the 1920's were years of rich artistic exploration and great productivity. Picasso designed theater sets and painted in Cubist modes. From 1929 to 1931, he pioneered wrought iron sculpture with his old friend Julio Gonzalez. In the early 1930's, Picasso did a large quantity of graphic illustrations. In late April of 1937, the world learned the shocking news of the saturation bombing of the civilian target of Guernica, Spain by the Nazi Luftwaffe. Picasso responded with his great anti-war painting, "Guernica." During World War II, Picasso lived in Paris, where he turned his energy to the art of ceramics. He pursued new methods of lithography, which is a method for printing using a stone (limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. The l950's saw the beginning of a number of large exhibits of his works. During this time he began to paint a series of works conceived as free variations on old master paintings. In the 1960's, he produced an enormous 50-foot sculpture for the Chicago Civic Center. It was known to be Picasso's gift to the city and has become the landmark of downtown Chicago. In 1970, Picasso donated more than 800 of his works to the Berenguer de Aguilar Palace Museum in Barcelona. In the last years of his life, painting became a passion with Picasso, and he would date each picture with complete precision. He created a large amount of similar paintings as if he was attempting to form individual moments of time. Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France at the age of 91.
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Pablo Picasso. (2009). Retrieved November 2012, from http://www.pablopicasso.org/before1901.jsp