Pablo Picasso biography

Pablo Picasso


Pablo Picasso
Born in Malaga Spain on 25 October 1881, Picasso wasthe son of Jose Ruiz Blasco, an art teacher, and Maria Picassoy Lopez. The world would never have known Pablo Picasso if his Uncle Don Salvador’s presence of mind had not saved him.Picasso on birth was thought to have been a still born and L abandoned on the table. His uncle rushed him to the doctorand saved the child of dying of asphyxia. The world of art is indebted to this good stroke of luck that saved the greatest artist of the century.

Picasso’s genius manifested early. As a mere child he would sit for hours with a pencil and paper drawing to his heart’s content. The Malagna beeches were also a favorite spot for his Creative expressions. At the age of 10 he made his first paintings and at 15 he performed brilliantly in the entrance exam at the Barcelona School of Fine Art. His large academic canvas Science and Charity depicting a doctor, a nun, and a child at a sick woman’s bedside, won a gold medal. Until 1898 Picasso always used his father's name, Ruiz, and his mother's name Picasso to sign his pictures. After about 1901 he dropped“Ruiz” and used only Picasso to sign his pictures.Picasso’s father was forced to move to Corunna andteach at a secondary school there. It was a blow and an insult. Don Jose became more and difficult to handle. It was only on restoring his lost prestige when he got a job at the prestigious Barcelona School of Fine Arts that Don Jose's restored his good humour. The exposure at the Barcelona School of fine Art put Picasso on the road to earnest painting. In these early days he was influenced by Daumier, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. He then joined the Royal Academy of San Fernando at Madrid where he astonished every one with his brilliant performance. His genius was instantly recognised, He returned to Barcelona only to move to Paris in 1904 where the city's Bohemian lifestyle appealed to his young iconoclastic ideas.
Picasso found the city's bohemian life fascinating. He tried to capture each nuance of the life that so invigorated his senses. Influenced by the postimpressionism of Paul Gauguin he captured people in dance halls and cafe’s. He was even influenced by symbolist painters called the Nabis. The themes of the French painters Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec exerted a strong influence on Picasso’s work. Picasso's Blue Room (1901) reflects the work of both these painters and at the same time shows evolution towards the Blue Period, so called because various shades of blue dominated his work for the next few years. His painting expressed human misery. Blind figures, beggars, alcoholics and prostitutes were subjects of his paintings which bore the mark of Spanish artist El Greco.
    During these early years in Pan's Picasso held many exhibitions of his work. In 1912 a group of his Cubist paintings were shown at the Stradfford Gallery in London. The prices 2 Pounds to 20 Pounds! The price of a painting of the same period today is 75,000 Pounds!
         Picasso's frequent exhibitions earned him an international reputation. His genius was versatile. Not only did his paintings gain acclaim but his sculptures and his designer costumes also received praise. In the field of visual art he was the master. Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism; sculpture, ceramics, stage decor and costume design; the arts of collage and poster design; of etching and book illustration he was master of them all. One can count Picasso’s genius only next to Leonardo da Vinci’s. He designed costumes for the Russian ballet. He later married a ballerina Olga Koklova in 1918 in Spain. They returned to Picasso's beloved Paris in the aftermath of the war only to discover the deep scars that World War l had left. His cherished friend Apollinaire who had been severely wounded in the head died after a few days of his return. Picasso received the news at the time when he was painting a self portrait. So shocked and grieved was he that his friend’s death marked an end to an «era of painting. Picasso never did make a self portrait again.
Much of Picasso’s life in France was spent near the sea. He bought the seventeenth century Chateau du Boisegeloup near Paris in 1932. But his marriage was running into difficulty. He had also met Marie Therese Walter a new and beautifulmodel. This further created a rift between the husband andwife and they soon parted. Marie was Picassos latest love and posed as a model for many of his paintings during this period. In harmonious curvilinear lines he expressed underlying eroticism in paintings such as Girl before a Mirror. In 1935 Picasso made the etching Minotauromachy, a major work combining Minotaur and bullfight themes. It presupposes the famous Guernica, the master piece of the twentieth century.
A thorough bred Spaniard at heart Picasso was outraged at the Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco’s bombardment of the Basque town of Guernica on April 26, 1937 during the Spanish civil war. He was moved to paint the colossal mural Guernica that was hung in the Spanish Pavilion of the Paris International Exposition of 1937. Picasso employed imagery to express his outrage. The bull the dying horse, a fallen warrior a mother and dead child, a woman trapped in a burning building, another rushing into the scene and a figure leaning from a window and holding a lamp all went on to portray the anguish of the Spanish people. It is the single most prized possession twentieth century can boast of. Apart from the striking accuracy of the imagery it celebrates man’s deepest agony in face of baseless inhumanity.
After the Spanish Civil war ended Picasso was unable to return to his native land. He joined the French Communist party to show his support to France to whom he was much indebted. In a statement he said, "My adhesion to the Communist Party is the logical outcome of my whole life. . . I was so anxious to find a homeland again, l have always been in exile, now I am one no longer; until Spain can at last welcomeme back, the French Communist Party has opened its arms tome. "Picasso in the aftermath of the war continued to attend communist meetings and evolved the symbol of peace (a lithograph of a white dove) which was accorded international acceptance. Today it is a universal symbol of peace and it reiterates Picasso’s belief who said, "I stand for life against death; I stand for peace against war"
In 1954 he met a beautiful young girl Jacqueline Roque who became his second wife. He painted and lithographed a series of paintings of her that became world famous. Picasso made important sculptures during this time: Man with Sleep, an over life size bronze emanates peace and hope, and She-Goat a bronze cast from an assemblage of flowerpots a wicker basket, and other diverse materials. In 1964 Picasso completed a welded maquette for the ‘18.3 m sculpture Head of a Woman, for Chicago’s Civic Center. In 1968 during a seven month period he created an amazing series of 347 engravings, restating earlier themes.
The boundless energy of this little sun burned man with compelling black eyes that saw beyond the surface into the scheme of things came to an end on April 8, 1973. He was reputed to be worth between five to six hundred million pounds.

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