Have you ever made collages? Out of newspaper articles or a magazine? Do you know who created that? Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain. His father worked as an artist, was also a professor at the School of Crafts and he also worked as a custodian for a museum in Malaga. Picasso indicated a passion and an ability to draw at a young age.
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At seven, Picasso was being trained in drawing figures and oil painting by his father. At fourteen, he was traumatized when his seven-year-old sister, Conchita, died of Diphtheria which is a bacterial infection that affects your mucous membranes. Later on, Picasso was sent to Madrid’s Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, a highly respected place but then stopped attending classes at sixteen because he didn’t like how they taught.
1901 to 1904 was known as Picasso’s Blue Period. Most of his paintings were in shades of blue and blue-green which was influenced by an emotional turmoil he was suffering as a lot of his loved ones passed away during this time. It started in 1901 when he met his closet friend Carlos Casagemas but their friendship ended suddenly when Casagemas committed suicide due to his significant other. It was thinking about Casagemas that got me started painting in blue (Artsy). La Vie (Life) is one of Picassos most respected painting in his Blue Period. Made in 1903, the painting shows Casagemas being clutched by a woman while the two are looking at a mother and child with two canvases in the background of people crouching. In opinion, the two canvases in the background shows grief. After the artist finished La Vie, he moved to Paris and unfolded from his Blue Period, into soft, joyful pinks.
Picasso went from themes of poverty, loneliness and despair in shades of blues to themes of happiness and cheerfulness in hues of red, orange, pink and earth tones. This was known as Picasso’s Rose Period that started in fall 1904 when he met the artist Fernande Oliver, his mistress, who is known to be one of the reasons he changed his style of painting. Circus performers and clowns appear a lot in the Rose Period and the harlequin, a mute comedian typically dressed in checkered costumes, became a character for Picasso. Picasso’s Rose Period ended in 1906.
Picasso became extremely influenced by African sculptures and traditional African masks because he liked the style. Picasso’s African Period was from 1906 to 1909. In the early 20th century, African artworks were being transferred to Paris and when Picasso saw African art at a museum, it influenced his style of one of his painting called, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Analytic cubism is a style of painting that Picasso created with French painter, Georges Braque. This period lasted from 1909 to 1912. Analytic cubism uses monochrome browns and neutral colors. In 1911 Picasso was arrested for the theft of Mona Lisa for having association with Gery Pieret, who was an artist and had a history of stealing artworks. He was later cleared out of any involvement with the painting’s disappearance. That didn’t stop him from painting though.
Synthetic Cubism lasted from 1912 to 1919. It was digging deeper into cubism with making collages out of wallpaper of cut out pieces of a newspaper article. During the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Picasso was living in Avignon, France. After having fame and money, he left Olivier for a woman named Marcelle Humbert, who he called Eva Gouel. Eva was featured in most of his Cubist works and he was shocked when she died from a bacterial infection called Tuberculosis in 1915. During summer of 1918, Picasso got married to a ballerina, Olga Khokhlova. After their honeymoon, Picasso met a French-Jewish art dealer named Paul Rosenberg and he got the couple an apartment in Paris while Khokhlova presented Picasso to high-class people and they had a son named Paulo Picasso. The couple ended up having constant arguments and in 1927, Picasso began a secret affair with Marie-Therese Walter. Picasso never divorced Khokhlova because he did not want her to have half of his wealth, as French law requires. They stayed married until Khokhlova’s death in 1955. Picasso was still with Walter and had a daughter with her, named Maya. Walter hoping Picasso would marry her, hanged herself four years after he died.
His Neoclassicism and Surrealism Period lasted from 1917 to 1929. That was his first time traveling to Italy. This period was mostly in the style of visual arts, theatre and music. An example of his style during the period is Two Women Running on a Beach, or Large Bather.
During the 1930s, a Greek mythical creature named minotaur replaced harlequin as his theme in most of his work. The minotaur and Marie-Therese Walter were featured in his work, Vollard Suite. Picassos most known work from his time around was Guernica (1937), which was his perspective of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Asked to explain its symbolism, Picasso said, It isn’t up to the painter to define the symbols’ (Wikipedia).
During World War II, Picasso was in Paris and his style of painting didn’t fit what the Nazis liked so he did not put his work out to the public. He got searched by the Gestapo, which is a secret police force of Nazi Germany, and they questioned him if that was his work and he continued to reject it. He produced work such as Still Life with Guitar and The Charnel House. Between 1935 and 1959, he began writing poetry and wrote over 300 poems! During that time, he also wrote two full-length plays called Desire Caught by the Tail and The Four Little Girls. In 1944, Picasso began a romantic relationship with a young artist named Francoise Gilot. After growing tire of his other mistress Dora Maar, he began to live with Gilot and they had children named Claude Picasso and Paloma Picasso. Gilot later revealed that Picasso was abusing her and she ended up leaving him, taking the children with her. Picasso ended up having many other affairs with young and old women including Genevieve Laporte and Jaqueline Roque.
Picasso final works were a mix between all his different painting styles. He died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France due to Pulmonary Edema and heart failure while at a dinner party with his wife, Jacqueline Roque. Due to depression after his death, Roque shot herself in 1986.
Pablo Picasso was one of the most influential artists in the 20th century. Whenever you are making a collage out of pieces from a newspaper think of who created that. Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working. – Pablo Picasso.
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