Pablo Picasso

(Malaga 1881 - 1973 Mougins)

Picasso is taught the foundations of painting by his father, the academic painter José Ruiz Blasco, and at art schools in Barcelona, where the family has lived since 1895. He runs in the avant-garde circle around the café/cabaret “Els Quatre Gats.” In Madrid, he and Francisco de A. Soler edit the magazine “Arte joven.” From 1900 on, he divides his time between Spain and Paris, where he settles in 1904. In February 1901, his friend the artist Carlos Casagemas shoots himself in Paris; until 1904, during his Blue Period, Picasso paints melancholy pictures that reflect the influence of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Symbolism, and Art Nouveau. The work of his Rose Period, in 1905–06, features harlequins and acrobats. After 1906, Picasso, taking inspiration from the oeuvre of Paul Cézanne and African tribal art and in a constant exchange of ideas with Georges Braque, develops Cubism. Around 1920, he paints figural representations in a neoclassical style, followed, in the 1920s, by Surrealist works. In 1928, he begins making iron sculptures mixing constructivism with anthropomorphous forms. The female nude remains a central theme in his pictures. The monumental mural Guernica, created in 1937 for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair, is an impassioned indictment of the cruelties of the Civil War.