Exploring the Creative Genius of Picasso: Pablo Picasso was the 20th century’s greatest artist. He influenced and collaborated with Henri Matisse and Georges Braque, and even casual museum-goers know his Blue Period and Rose Period works. Picasso consistently opposed fascism in his homeland.
After a 1934 visit, he vowed never to return to Spain while Franco was alive and never did. In joining the French Communist Party, he said, “I have always been an exile, now I am one no longer; until the time when Spain may finally receive me, the French Communist Party has opened its arms to me.”
The massive “Guernica” makes a stronger case against war than many words or arguments. Little known is Picasso’s poetry, which he immersed himself in before the Spanish Civil War and deeply affected him. He wrote plays and designed Paris ballet costumes and sets.
Due to Picasso’s vast creativity and influence, Stacker compiled a list of lesser-known events and facts from historical chronicles, museum archives, biographies, and media articles.
Born in Malaga, Spain, 1881
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, to Maria Picasso Lopez and Jose Ruiz Blasco. His father painted birds and game animals, taught fine arts, and curated a local museum. Picasso’s youngest sister Conchita was born in 1888 and died of diptheria in 1895, while Delores (called “Lola”) was born in 1884. Picasso, 14, vowed to never paint again if Conchita’s life could be saved.
Art classes begin in 1892
Picasso started his art education at the Guarda School of Fine Arts in Coruna in 1892. Three years later, he and his family moved to Barcelona, where Picasso, 13, attended the Llotja School of Fine Arts. Picasso’s father taught both schools.
Picasso studied at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid but left soon. He visited the Prado Museum, founded in 1819, which Picasso had first visited in 1895. The young artist was drawn to Rembrandt, El Greco, and Francisco Goya works there.
Scarlet fever in 1898
Picasso contracted scarlet fever in 1898. After recovering, he returned to Barcelona and abandoned his art school studies, defying his family’s hopes of him becoming an academic painter who taught.
First solo show
Picasso had his first solo show at Barcelona’s Quatre Gats cafe. In English, “The Four Cats” refers to the popular Parisian club Le Chat Noir.
Picasso signs art
Picasso and his friend Francesc Assis Soler founded Arte Joven, a literary magazine, in Madrid. Picasso edited the five-volume journal’s art. The same year, he stopped signing Pablo Ruiz y Picasso and started using Picasso, his mother’s surname.
Blue Period begins
Picasso’s three-year Blue Period began in 1901. He depicted “The Old Guitarist” in 1903, women’s prison inmates, blind beggars, and street people in sombre blue hues. The suicide of his friend and fellow painter and poet Carlos Casagemas after a failed love affair may have saddened the artist.
Paris companion meeting
Picasso met Fernande Olivier in Paris, making her his model and companion for eight years. In a memoir, she said the Spanish painter invited her into his studio while she was sheltering from a rainstorm in a Montmartre artist building.
Rose Period begins in 1904.
- Picasso’s Rose Period began with his earthy pink and rose paintings.
- His works became less pensive after the Blue Period.
- He often depicted clowns, harlequins, and travelling circuses.
- Picasso dated Francoise Gilot, a young art student in Paris after WWII.
- These parents had Claude in 1947 and Paloma in 1949.
- Jewellery designer Paloma Picasso was famous worldwide.
Joining the French Communist Party
Picasso joined the French Communist Party in 1944, according to L’Humanite. He wrote, “My membership of the Communist Party is the logical consequence of my whole life, of my whole work.” “These years of terrible oppression have shown me that I must fight with all my heart, not just my art.”
Picasso met Madoura Pottery employee Jacqueline Roque in 1953 when he was 72 and she was 26. He married her in 1961. In their time together, he painted 400 portraits of her, his muse. He died after 11 years of marriage.
Died at 91 in 1973
- Picasso died at his Notre Dame de Vie villa on April 8, 1973, at 91.
- Pulmonary edoema and heart failure killed.
- His grave is at Chateau de Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, France.
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