Pablo Picasso Biography and the Barcelona Connection

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This Pablo Picasso biography gives an overview of his life, some facts, and also his links with Barcelona, where he decided to set up his museum. Pablo Picasso full name is a bit long: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de Los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso.

Pablo Picasso biography - Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Birthplace

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Andalusian region, Spain, on October 25, 1881. How did Picasso become a famous artist? Picasso developed his own style and worked with diverse media creating a staggering amount of artworks. He became one of the most recognized artists of the 20th century. Picasso is known as the co-founder of the Cubist movement and also for the styles' diversity of his artworks.

Pablo Picasso biography - La Llotja, the former School of Fine Arts in Barcelona (today The Catalan Royal Academy of Fine Arts)

La Llotja, the former School of Fine Arts in Barcelona (today The Catalan Royal Academy of Fine Arts)

The Learning Period of Picasso

His father was a painter. He taught drawing at the School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Pablo Picasso, from his early age, showed an apparent tendency and skill for drawing. His father trained him in drawing and oil painting since he was seven years old.

The family of Picasso was a middle-class family. His father accepted a better-paid job in La Coruña, and the family moved there in 1891 when Picasso was ten years old.

Picasso entered the school of Fine Arts in La Coruña, but the most important teacher he had, was his father. Four years later, when his father saw the excellent performance of the works developed by Pablo, he decided that he will never paint again.

In 1895, his father got a job at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and the family moved to this city. His father wanted him in an advanced class. Pablo completed and passed the entrance exam in a record time and was admitted, according to his father´s desire. Pablo was thirteen years old.

At the age of sixteen, his father and uncle sent Pablo to Madrid, to the Royal Academy of San Fernando, the leading art school in Spain. He passed the entrance exam for advanced courses, but he would abandon the classes shortly after. He preferred to go to the Prado Museum and imitate the style of the old masters. He especially admired the works of El Greco.

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Pablo Picasso biography - The Four Cats Cafe Restaurant

The Four Cats Cafe Restaurant

The Young Pablo Picasso

Picasso returned to Barcelona in 1898, after he caught scarlet fever. He was a frequent visitor of The Four Cats cafe, a meeting point of intellectuals and artists, where he made some friends of the Modernist movement. He abandoned classicism and begun a new era of experiments based on self-styled art.

In 1900, Picasso went to Paris, which was then considered the most important artistic capital of Europe. Those years were not easy for Pablo. The lack of money created a difficult situation for him. Picasso was often traveling between Paris and Barcelona during this period.

He went to Madrid, where he participated as co-founder of the magazine Arte Joven (Young Art). Picasso made the illustrations in the magazine, in the form of cartoons. But shortly after, in 1901, he came back to Paris. There, he met Joan Miro in 1921, during the first one-man show of the latter.

Pablo was strongly influenced by the suicide of his friend Casagemas. He painted more than one picture about his friend, which reveal the significance of this event in his life. During this period, he began to use blue tones as dominating color on his paintings.

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Pablo Picasso - Blue Nude, 1902 Pablo-Picasso - Family of Saltimbanques, 1905 Pablo Picasso - Three Women, 1907-1908 Pablo Picasso - Girl with Mandolin Fanny Tellier, 1910 Pablo Picasso - Card Player, 1913-1914 Pablo Picasso - Three Dancers, 1925 Pablo Picasso - Guernica, 1937 Pablo Picasso - Self Portrait, 1972

Some Pablo Picasso paintings

The Artist Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso works were influenced by different experiences and events in his life. His difficult times, in the beginning, marked one period. We will not enter in details about his turbulent private life, but just mention that this is another crucial period in his creativity.

The War times and his political point of view are also reflected in his works. During the Second World War, he was in Paris, but unlucky, because Nazis did not like his style.

After the liberation of Paris, he joined the Communist Party. He also participated in the Peace Movement, which held a World Peace Conference in Paris in 1949. The famous dove created by Picasso was adopted as the official symbol of the Peace Movement.

Pablo Picasso was also a sculptor. One of his works, among others, is the sculpture in Chicago. He was commissioned to make a fifteen meters high public sculpture, which can be seen in Chicago downtown. He donated his work to the people of the city.

The works of Picasso are distinguished in periods, though some of them are still on debate.

The time when he was living in Barcelona City played an essential role in his early works. You can see these works and others from his youth, in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona. A rich collection of his friend and personal secretary, Jaime Sabartés, can also be appreciated.

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Pablo Picasso biography - The Picasso Museum in Barcelona

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona

The Old Pablo Picasso

Picasso never wanted to fight in any of the three wars, The World War I, the Spanish Civil War or the World War II. He was a pacifist, but some called him a coward. After the liberation of Paris in 1944, Pablo Picasso began a new period, but after some years, he lived through difficult times when his new mistress, François Gilot, left him in 1953.

Several works are reflecting the war times. Perhaps one of the most famous Pablo Picasso paintings is the Guernica, which depicts the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. This large canvas was exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art for a long time. Since 1992, the Guernica can be appreciated in the Reina Sofia Museum, in Madrid.

Picasso was already a very famous artist and a celebrity. He had enough money to live a good life. Picasso bought a large villa at the south of France, where he was working for a time. As Picasso was a celebrity, he had a problem, because he never liked to call the attention of the public.

Picasso decided to buy the Chateau Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence and moved there. The works of this times had changes in color tones again.

He was very creative and productive during his last years, by producing a lot of paintings and copper plate etchings. His latest pictures show plenty of colors and are carefully dated. There is no defined style in them.

Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973. The body of the Artist was buried in the Chateau Vauvenargues, his last residence in France.

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