Pablo Picasso

Written by on November 16, 2018

Pablo Picasso, born in 1881, was an influential 20th century Spanish painter associated with cubism, an avant garde art movement based around the simplification and reduction of forms into simple shapes. Picasso has gone on to be world renowned with paintings such as The Weeping Woman (1937) and Geurnica (1937) being instantly recognizable.

Picasso showed artistic talent from an early age and was given formal training by his father, though classical training was seemingly of little interest to the seven year old Picasso. Moving twice in the next six years his family would settle down in Barcelona, being accepted into a school of fine arts at the age of 13. At 16 he was sent to the formost art academy in Spain but he did not really want this type of training. He instead spent his days admiring the work of Greco and Goya.

A painter of many stripes Picasso would reinvent himself every few years creating wildly different pieces. Starting out as a realist under his father’s tutoriage he created pieces such as First Communion (1896) and Science and Charity (1897) showcasing his immense skill at an early age. As the 19th turned into the 20th century Picasso would take a trip to France and into his blue period (1901-1904), characterised by his heavy use of blue and green shades. Split between Barcelona and Paris each piece would paint a sombre scene with beggars, such as in The Old Guitarist (1903), being a regular subjects.

From here Picasso would go on to change his style every 2 to 4 years. His rose period (1905-1907) would be marked by his change to brighter colors and use of acrobats and jesters. This was quickly followed by initial steps into cubism and an interest in African art, spurred on by his fascination in African artefacts. Paintings during this period were dealtĀ  with disdain in the beginning which resulted with Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) not being publicly displayed till 1916. From 1909 to 1919 Picasso would dive into Cubism and the analysis of form so, his art during this time would go on to be defined as Crystal Cubism. He would also go on to work on stage, creating costumes for ballet Russes in late world war two.

Making his first trip to Italy in 1917 Picasso would become engrossed in neoclassicism, new objectivity and surrealism. Taking inspiration from his earlier work in primitivism eroticism he would bring this into his surrealist pieces, to great success. In the 1930s many of his most famous works have revealed this inspiration including Guernica (1937), showing the bombing of Guernica on the Spanish Civil War. Picasso continued to paint throughout world war two in Nazi occupied Paris, painting works such as Charnel House and creating statues with Bronze, smuggled to him by the French Resistance.

In later life Picasso starred in films as well as he donated a sculpture, known as Chicago’s Picasso, to the city of Chicago in 1967. Picasso’s last pieces were a mixture of styles, seen as pasthis prime his work would go on to be defined as Neo-expressionism. Dying in 1973 by Pulmonary Edema he was not as highly influential artist as before and famous across the world.

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