Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) is probably one of the most recognised painters in all of history. He has worked in multiple mediums such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, print-making, collage and stage design. Most people know him to be the co-founder of the Cubist movement and the co-inventor of collage along with Georges Braque.
Unlike other children whose first words are usually mother or water, Pablo Picasso’s first word was ‘piz’, short for lapiz meaning pencil in Spanish. His father, who was an artist himself instructed him in figure drawing and oil painting. At age 13 he was admitted to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona and by 16 his talent was furthered at the Royal Academy of San Fernando but quit soon after because he lacked the discipline required for formal training.
The Blue and Rose periods of Picasso’s career featured circus folk, beggars, and subjects common to the 18th century symbolism and form. Though works from the period before he turned 25 are beautiful to look at, it was when he began to develop Cubism with Georges Braque that his unique style began to take shape. Inspired by the power and simplicity of African and Native American painting, cubism broke the canvas into many shapes. The beauty of cubism lies in the fact that these shapes came together to give you multiple perspectives depending on what part of the painting you were focusing on.
It is only because of the rose and blue periods, which demonstrate his firm grounding in classical technique that Picasso was able to take art to the level he did. He was a superstitious and narcissistic man whose eccentricity was famous all over Europe. However his charm and talent were so great that people around him would forgive him all this and focus on his 50,000 contributions to painting, sculpture, ceramics, print, and tapestry to the world.
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