Pablo Picasso: A Biography

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, also known as Pablo Picasso, is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He was a Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor, and he is recognized as a co-pioneer of the cubist movement in art.

Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in the city of Malaga, located in the Andalusian region of Spain. His parents named him in honor of many relatives and saints (hence the reason for his name being so long.) Picasso grew up in the middle class. His father, Don Jose Ruiz Y Blasco, was a painter as well as a professor of art at the School of Crafts. His mother, Maria Picasso Y Lopez did not work, as was the custom of most women. She claimed that Picasso’s first words were “piz, piz,” a shortening of the Spanish word, “lapiz,” which translates to “pencil” in English. Picasso’s love for art was enriched by his father. Blasco realized the talent that his son possessed and decided to send him to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando at the mere age of sixteen. However, due to poor attendance, Picasso had to withdraw from the academy. Still, Picasso managed to learn in Madrid from other painters. He was especially fond of the work of El Greco.

By 1900, Picasso made his first trip to Paris, which was the art capital of Europe at the time. He learned the language and got to know the culture of France. Picasso’s first professional job was illustrating for an arts Magazine, Arte Joven, which he cofounded with Fransisco de Asis Soler. Picasso started gaining international recognition when American art collectors, Leo and Gertrude Stein, began purchasing his works and displaying them in their art gallery in Paris. Soon Picasso became a member of a famous art gallery that belonged to Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

By the time World War II broke out, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city. The Nazis did not particularly like Picasso’s artwork, and so he was unable to display his work during the war. Yet, he continued to paint in his studio throughout the war. After the liberation of Paris, Picasso met a young art student, named Fracois Gilot. They fell in love and had two children, Claude and Paloma (Picasso had already fathered two other children named Paulo and Maia by two different women.) But, Gilot soon left Picasso due to his alleged infidelities and abusive manner towards her. Picasso’s last relationship before he died was with a woman named Jaquline Roque.

Picasso refused to participate in any of the major wars of his time. Many scholars believed that his pacifism relayed his cowardice more than it relayed a political motive. However , in 1944, Picasso joined the French Communist Party. He expressed his anger towards fascism through his various artworks. He was also adamantly against the intervention of the U.S. and the U.N. in the Korean Civil War. He depicted his anger through his painting, Massacre in Korea. In 1962, Picasso received the International Lenin Piece Prize.

Picasso’s works are divided into different periods including the Blue Period, the Rose Period, the African Influenced period, Cubism, and Classicism and Surrealism. Picasso is famously quoted as saying, “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” Picasso definitely allowed the world to see the truth about art and how beautiful and ugly it can be. Though Picasso died on April 8, 1973, he is still appreciated, studied, and viewed by many around the world.


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