Pablo picassos biography [1881–1973]
On October 25, 1881, in the southern coastal city of Malaga in the province of Cadiz, Spain, Pablo Picasso was born. His father, Don José Ruiz Blasco, was an art teacher and the curator of a local museum. Pablo was born one year after his parents’ marriage. Don José gave his son the full name of Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.
It was not possible for anyone to call him by such a long name, so he was commonly referred to as Ruiz. Ruiz was his father’s last name, while Picasso was his mother’s maiden name. As he grew older, he dropped his father’s last name and became known as Pablo Picasso. It is under this name that he is now famous.
Pablo Picasso had a deep interest in drawing from an early age, thanks to his father who taught him to draw. It is said that when he was just three years old, he would take a pencil or charcoal and start drawing on paper or on the walls. His passion for art continued to grow as he grew older. By the time he was 14, he moved to Barcelona with his family, and his father Don José, joined an art school as a teacher.
Pablo Picasso was enrolled in his father’s art school. His talent was quickly recognized and he began to explore new styles of art. As a student in Barcelona, he was heavily influenced by the work of new wave artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin and the Symbolists or the Fauvists, who emphasized the use of color and form in their paintings. He aimed to incorporate these elements into his own work.
After three years of studying in the art school in Barcelona, in 1897, Pablo Picasso was admitted to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. At this time, many young artists were in need of exposure and many established artists participated. This was a great opportunity for him. Pablo Picasso was awarded the best artist prize and this was his first success in his career.
But the atmosphere of the Academy did not suit him. He returned to Barcelona and this was the time of his preparation. also set up a studio at home. He spent most of his days out, on the roads, on hills, in the countryside, at the port, in the suburbs, on the beach. Whatever he saw, he painted. The poor, the beggars, the factory workers, the street dogs, the old, the worn out women, no one was left out of his pictures.
In the year 2000, Picasso settled in London. The atmosphere of the Spanish art scene was not suitable for him. He traveled to Paris for a few days and his goal was to get familiar with the art scene in Paris. Picasso became excited, he thought that his art center should be in Paris, not Spain, not England. The main reason for this was financial, he couldn’t afford to stay in Paris permanently. For the next four years, he spent time in both Paris and Barcelona.
In 1900, his first picture was exhibited in Paris, “The Moulin de la Gallette,” a view of a coffee house. Although the picture did not showcase his artistic talents, the composition of the image caught the attention of many. None of the pictures were sold in this exhibition.
Picasso’s Blue Period was the first phase of his artistic career, from 1901 to 1904. During this time, all of his paintings featured a blue color scheme. For him, the color blue symbolized the sadness and melancholy of life. All the paintings of this period are characterized by a somber blue color palette.
During this time, Picasso collaborated with several young friends to publish a magazine called “Young Art” for several days. Picasso was the editor of this magazine. An exhibition of one of his paintings was also held in Madrid. All these paintings were pastel-colored. He later returned to Paris.
After the use of blue color, it was observed that he started using pink color in his paintings, which is known as the Pink Period. From 1903 onwards, there was a gradual shift towards warmer colors in his paintings. Within a short period of time, his paintings caught the attention of the art world, which led to him becoming a sought-after artist. He started to make a living by selling his paintings during this time. He permanently moved to Paris in 1904, but despite several requests from the French government, he did not apply for French citizenship.
Picasso considered himself a Spanish son and was proud of his heritage. His first major breakthrough came in 1907 with the painting “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which marked the emergence of Cubism as a major art movement. Although the painting was completed in 1907, it was not publicly exhibited until 1937, as Picasso had doubts about how the public would react to the avant-garde style of the painting. The painting was considered as a first step towards the development of Cubism, and Picasso was at the forefront of this movement.
However, Picasso did not stick to his own path. From 1907 to 1911, he gradually brought changes to his paintings, making them increasingly complex. The language of his paintings became more and more abstract, the natural representation of life disappeared, and he became one of the founders of modern art. This period is known as the Analytical Cubism period, which was the first phase of cubism. This period is also called the “Cubist College” and some of his famous paintings from this period are “Still life with chair Caning” (1911-1912).
In 1912, a solo exhibition of his cubist paintings was held in London. At that time, the value of the paintings was between 2 and 20 pounds. Today, the value of those same paintings is worth more than one hundred pounds. Picasso’s first female companion was Fernande Olivier, whom he met when he was establishing himself as an artist in 1904. Despite not being married, the two had a deep and intense relationship for nine years, living together as if they were husband and wife.