Pablo Picasso, born on October 25, 1881, and passing away on April 8, 1973, A Spanish artist who made an enduring impact on the world of art. His extensive repertoire included painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and even theatre design. Although Spanish by birth, Picasso spent the majority of his adult life in France.
Considered one of the most impactful artists in the 20th century, Picasso played a pivotal role in co-founding the Cubist movement. His artistic innovations extended to the invention of constructed sculpture and co-creation of collage. What set Picasso apart was his ability to traverse a diverse range of styles, contributing significantly to their development and exploration.
Among his iconic works are “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (1907), a proto-Cubist masterpiece, and “Guernica” (1937), a powerful anti-war painting depicting the bombing of Guernica Amidst the Spanish Civil War through the air forces of Germany and Italy. forces.
Picasso’s artistic journey began with a demonstration of extraordinary talent in his early years, showcasing a naturalistic style in his childhood and adolescence. However, as the 20th century dawned, his style evolved through experimentation with various theories, techniques, and ideas. The influence of Henri Matisse’s Fauvist work in 1906 marked a turning point, sparking a rivalry that critics often portrayed as a clash between the leaders of modern art.
The evolution of Picasso’s work is often divided into periods. These include the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also known as the Crystal period. While the late 1910s and early 1920s saw a neoclassical influence, Picasso’s mid-1920s work reflected characteristics of Surrealism. His later works often merged elements from his earlier styles.
Picasso’s artistic output remained exceptionally prolific throughout his long life, earning him universal acclaim and immense fortune. His revolutionary contributions solidified his status as one of the most recognizable figures in 20th-century art.
Pablo Picasso Early Life
Pablo Picasso entered the world at 23:15 on October 25, 1881, in the vibrant city of Málaga, nestled in the heart of Andalusia, southern Spain. Born to José Ruiz y Blasco and María Picasso y López, he was the eldest child in a family of middle-class background. His father, Don José, distinguished himself as a painter specializing in naturalistic depictions of birds and game, while also serving as a professor of art at the School of Crafts and a curator at a local museum. The artistic lineage extended further back, with Ruiz’s ancestors being minor aristocrats.
Picasso’s birth certificate and baptismal records reveal a mosaic of names, incorporating those of various saints and relatives. Following Spanish convention, his paternal and maternal surnames were Ruiz y Picasso, respectively, and the name “Picasso” traced its roots to Liguria, a coastal region in north-western Italy. Notably, Pablo’s maternal great-grandfather, Tommaso Picasso, had migrated to Spain around 1807.
From a tender age, Picasso displayed an innate passion and skill for drawing. Legend has it that his first uttered words were “piz, piz,” a playful truncation of lápiz, the Spanish term for “pencil.” His formal artistic education commenced at the age of seven under the guidance of his father, who adhered to traditional academic methods. Ruiz, a staunch advocate for disciplined copying of masters and meticulous figure drawing, instilled in his son a profound connection with art, leading to Picasso’s absorption in artistic pursuits at the expense of academic obligations.
The family relocated to A Coruña in 1891, where Ruiz assumed a professorship at the School of Fine Arts. Picasso’s formative years saw a moment of perceived rivalry with his father when, at the age of thirteen, he skillfully painted over his father’s unfinished pigeon sketch. This incident, though apocryphal, marked a turning point, with Ruiz acknowledging his son’s artistic prowess and, in a moment of humility, contemplating relinquishing his own artistic endeavors.
Tragedy struck in 1895 with the death of Picasso’s seven-year-old sister, Conchita, from diphtheria. The family subsequently moved to Barcelona, where Ruiz secured a position at the School of Fine Arts. Barcelona became a transformative environment for Picasso, who considered it his true home, finding solace in the city during moments of sorrow or nostalgia. Despite Picasso’s lack of discipline as a student, his father’s persistence secured him an entrance exam for the advanced class at just thirteen.
By 1897, Picasso found himself in Madrid, enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Spain’s premier art school. Although only sixteen, Picasso, unenthused by formal instruction, soon ceased attending classes. Madrid, with its allure of artistic treasures in the Prado, captivated him. Paintings by masters like Diego Velázquez, Francisco Goya, and Francisco Zurbarán held sway, and Picasso developed a particular admiration for El Greco, whose influence resonated in his later works, echoing elongated limbs, vivid colors, and mystical visages. At this stage, Picasso’s journey into the artistic realm was marked by a blend of youthful rebellion and profound inspiration.
Pablo Picasso Career
Picasso’s artistic journey commenced under the guidance of his father before 1890, a developmental phase meticulously chronicled in the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. This collection stands as one of the most comprehensive archives of any major artist’s early years, offering a nuanced glimpse into the evolution of his craft. By 1893, the nascent quality of his early works gave way to a more mature expression, marking the onset of his formal career as a painter in 1894. Notable among these early pieces is “The First Communion” (1896), a sizable composition portraying his sister, Lola, showcasing the academic realism prevalent in his mid-1890s creations. Another significant work from this period is the dynamic and compelling “Portrait of Aunt Pepa,” painted at the age of 14, hailed by Juan-Eduardo Cirlot as “undoubtedly one of the greatest in the whole history of Spanish painting.”
In 1897, Picasso’s artistic trajectory embraced Symbolist influences, evident in a series of landscape paintings characterized by non-naturalistic violet and green tones. The subsequent phase, often referred to as his Modernist period (1899–1900), emerged under the impact of artists such as Rossetti, Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Edvard Munch, alongside Picasso’s enduring admiration for El Greco. This confluence led Picasso to forge a personal brand of modernism in his works during this period.
The pivotal year of 1900 saw Picasso’s inaugural visit to Paris, then the epicenter of the European art scene. It was during this time that he befriended Max Jacob, a Parisian journalist and poet. Jacob not only aided Picasso in acclimating to the language and literature but also became a roommate, sharing a living space where Max slept at night, and Picasso toiled away during the nocturnal hours. These were challenging times marked by poverty, cold, and desperation, with Picasso resorting to burning much of his work to stave off the chill in their modest abode.
In the first five months of 1901, Picasso resided in Madrid, collaborating with his anarchist friend Francisco de Asís Soler to establish the magazine “Arte Joven” (Young Art), which published five issues. Picasso, contributing illustrations and grim cartoons depicting and sympathizing with the plight of the poor, collaborated with Soler on this venture. It was during this period, particularly on March 31, 1901, that the artist began signing his work as Picasso, a departure from his previous signatures as “Pablo Ruiz Picasso” (from 1898) and “Pablo R. Picasso” (until 1901). This change was not a repudiation of his father figure but rather a desire to distinguish himself from others, influenced by Catalan friends who customarily addressed him by his maternal surname, a less common practice compared to the paternal Ruiz. This shift marked Picasso’s quest for identity and individuality in the burgeoning art scene of his time.Picasso’s Blue Period, spanning from 1901 to 1904, marked a poignant phase characterized by melancholic paintings primarily drenched in shades of blue and blue-green, occasionally punctuated by subtle hints of other colors. The inception of this period is debated, with suggestions pointing to its commencement either in Spain in early 1901 or later in Paris during the second half of the same year. Throughout the Blue Period, Picasso, grappling with a somber aesthetic, divided his time between the artistic hubs of Barcelona and Paris.
A prevalent theme during this period was the depiction of gaunt mothers with children, showcasing an austere use of color and often exploring doleful subject matter. The influence behind this melancholy ambiance can be traced to Picasso’s travels through Spain and the tragic suicide of his friend Carles Casagemas. The autumn of 1901 saw Picasso creating a series of posthumous portraits of Casagemas, culminating in the evocative and gloomy allegorical painting titled “La Vie” (1903), now housed in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
This somber atmosphere pervades another renowned creation from the Blue Period, “The Frugal Repast” (1904), an etching portraying a blind man and a sighted woman, both gaunt, seated at a minimally adorned table. Blindness, a recurring theme during this period, is articulated in pieces like “The Blindman’s Meal” (1903, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and the portrait of “Celestina” (1903). Significant additions to Picasso’s Blue Period collection encompass “Portrait of Soler” and “Portrait of Suzanne Bloch,” each enriching the thematic complexity of this emotionally charged and introspective artistic phase.
Pablo Picasso Death
Pablo Picasso life came to an end on April 8, 1973, in Mougins, France. The cause of his demise was attributed to pulmonary edema and a heart attack. Poignantly, this occurred the morning after Picasso and his wife Jacqueline had hosted friends for dinner. Following his passing, Picasso found his final resting place at the Château of Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence. This property held particular significance for him, having been acquired in 1958 and shared with Jacqueline between 1959 and 1962.
In a poignant and somewhat controversial note, Jacqueline, Picasso’s wife, took the decision to prevent Prevented his children, Claude and Paloma, from participating in the funeral. The aftermath of Picasso’s death left a profound impact on those close to him, and the decision to exclude his children from the funeral added a layer of complexity to the mourning process.
Tragically, the story took a further somber turn in 1986 when Jacqueline, grappling with devastation and loneliness after Picasso’s death, took her own life at the age of 59. The method was a self-inflicted gunshot, marking a profoundly tragic end to the life of a woman who had shared a significant part of Picasso’s later years. The intertwined tragedies of Picasso and Jacqueline underscore the complexities of their personal and emotional landscapes, leaving a somber chapter in the legacy of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.
Pablo Picasso Net Worth And Income
Pablo Picasso, the internationally acclaimed Spanish artist, left an indelible mark on the world of art during his life from 1881 to 1973. According to a court-appointed auditor tasked with assessing the assets in Picasso’s estate after his death, his net worth was estimated to be between $100 million and $250 million at that time. Adjusting for inflation, this would be equivalent to $530 million to $1.3 billion today.
The primary source of this substantial wealth was Picasso’s extensive personal collection, encompassing thousands of paintings, drawings, and sculptures. An impressive legacy, he left behind approximately 16,000 paintings, each representing a facet of his groundbreaking artistic journey.
However, beyond the tangible artworks, another significant asset that would become a focal point of contention among heirs was Picasso’s image rights. The rights to Picasso’s likeness, name, and the commercial use of his image became a contentious issue among his heirs, leading to legal disputes and conflicts over the control and monetization of these rights. This aspect of Picasso’s legacy added complexity to the posthumous management of his estate, showcasing the intricate dynamics that can arise when dealing with the valuable assets of a cultural icon.
Pablo Picasso Personal Life
Pablo Picasso’s personal life was marked by a complex tapestry of relationships, intense passions, and a series of marriages and affairs. From his early adolescence, he engaged in both superficial and profound amatory and sexual relationships. Biographer John Richardson succinctly summarized Picasso’s main addictions as ‘work, sex, and tobacco.’
Picasso was married twice and had four children by three different women:
- Paulo (4 February 1921 – 5 June 1975, Paul Joseph Picasso) – with Olga Khokhlova
- Maya (5 September 1935 – 20 December 2022, Maria de la Concepcion Picasso) – with Marie-Thérèse Walter
- Claude (15 May 1947 – 24 August 2023, Claude Pierre Pablo Picasso) – with Françoise Gilot
- Paloma (born 19 April 1949, Anne Paloma Picasso) – also with Françoise Gilot 
Throughout his life, Picasso’s romantic entanglements extended beyond his marriages. Photographer and painter Dora Maar, in particular, held a significant place in his life, being a constant companion and lover, especially during the late 1930s and early 1940s. Maar played a crucial role in documenting the creation of one of Picasso’s masterpieces, “Guernica.”
The women in Picasso’s life were more than mere companions; they played vital roles in the emotional and erotic dimensions of his creative expression. These relationships, often tumultuous, were considered essential to his artistic process. Many of these women served as muses and appeared in his extensive body of work, earning their place in art history.
Despite the artistic inspiration drawn from these relationships, Picasso has been criticized for his treatment of women. He has been characterized as a womanizer and a misogynist, expressing views that objectify and demean women. His often controversial statements, such as describing women as “machines for suffering,” have contributed to this perception.
Picasso’s relationships with women were not without tragedy. Two significant women in his life, lover Marie-Thérèse Walter and second wife Jacqueline Roque, died by suicide. Others, including his first wife Olga Khokhlova and lover Dora Maar, faced nervous breakdowns. The impact extended to his family, with his son Paulo succumbing to fatal alcoholism due to depression. Tragically, his grandson, Pablito, also took his own life, ingesting bleach after being barred from attending Picasso’s funeral by Jacqueline Roque.
The intricate interplay between Picasso’s personal life and his artistic output reveals a complex and at times troubling aspect of his legacy. The women who influenced his art also bore the weight of the emotional toll within these tumultuous relationships.
Pablo Picasso Age
Pablo Ruiz Picasso, born on October 25, 1881, and passing away on April 8, 1973, was a Spanish painter and sculptor of extraordinary talent. Over the course of his prolific career, Picasso created an astonishing portfolio of more than 20,000 works of art. His longevity was remarkable, as he lived to the age of 91.
Universally recognized as one of the preeminent artists of the 20th century, Picasso left an indelible mark on the art world. His innovative and influential contributions, spanning various styles and movements, have solidified his legacy as a transformative figure in the history of art.