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Pablo Picasso

1881 - 1973

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Malaga Spain on October 25, 1881. The son of an academic painter, José Ruiz Blanco, he began to draw at an early age. In 1895, the family moved to Barcelona, and Picasso studied there at La Lonja, the academy of fine arts. He was a rebel from the start and, as a teenager, began to frequent the Barcelona cafes where intellectuals gathered. He soon went to Paris, the capital of art, and soaked up the works of Manet, Gustave Courbet, and Toulouse-Lautrec, whose sketchy style impressed him greatly.
Picasso Self-Protrait with Palette
Self-Protrait with Palette - 1906

His style developed from the Blue Period (1901-04) to the Rose Period (1905). In 1901, during his Blue Period, Picasso painted the "Absinthe Drinker" and his pivotal work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and the subsequent evolution of Cubism from an Analytic phase (ca. 1908-11), through its Synthetic phase (beginning in 1912-13). Picasso's collaboration on ballet and theatrical productions began in 1916. Soon thereafter, his work was characterized by neoclassicism and a renewed interest in drawing and figural representation. In the 1920s, the artist and his wife, Olga (whom he had married in 1918), continued to live in Paris, to travel frequently, and to spend their summers at the beach.

In 1914, Picasso would create the sculpture "Glass of Absinthe".

From 1925 into the 1930s, Picasso was involved to a certain degree with the Surrealists, and from the fall of 1931 he was especially interested in making sculpture. In 1932, with large exhibitions at the Galeries Georges Petit, Paris, and the Kunsthaus Zürich, and the publication of the first volume of Christian Zervos's catalogue raisonné, Picasso's fame increased markedly.

On April 8, 1973 he died, at last. Picasso was buried in the grounds of his Chateau Vauvenargues.

Exerts from the Guggenheim Museum

References: The Online Pacasso Project offers a comprehensive study of the life and art of Pablo Pacasso.