Famous Spanish Artists
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Málaga on 25 October, 1881. 'Pablo' means 'Paul' in Spanish. His full name was very long indeed! According to his Baptismal Certificate it was -
Pablo's father was an artist and a teacher of Art. Pablo's mother was part Italian (Picasso was her Italian surname). She claimed that Pablo's first spoken word was 'pencil.' (The word for 'pencil' is lápiz in Spanish).
As a child, it was obvious that Pablo was a talented artist. In fact, when his father saw what a great artist his young son Pablo was, he felt too embarrassed to call himself an artist any more and declared that he would never paint again! Instead, he gave all his paintbrushes and materials to the young Pablo.
As a young man, Pablo studied art in Madrid at the Academia de San Fernando, but he never finished the course. Instead, he moved to Paris in 1900 where, at first, life was hard. It is said that, on occasions, Pablo used his paintings as firewood to heat up his lodgings.
Eventually, Pablo settled into the artistic life of Paris and he made a large group of artistic friends there. Although he was Spanish, he spent most of his life in France, so he learned to speak French. This is why his paintings have French names.
From 1901, Pablo began to sign his paintings simply 'Picasso'. Previously he had signed them with Pablo Ruiz y Picasso and Pablo R. Picasso.
Pablo married twice and had four children. He married his first wife Olga Khokhlova in 1918. She was a Russian ballerina. He painted her portrait many times. The most famous of her portraits is the one where she is 'sitting in an armchair.' This was painted in 1917.
After Olga's death in 1955, Pablo re-married in 1961. His second wife was called Jacqueline Roque and she worked in the Madoura Pottery on the French Riviera. In the pottery, Pablo Picasso's ceramic works were produced. Jacqueline and Pablo remained married for the rest of his life. Below is a portrait of Jacqueline 'holding a flower', painted by Pablo.
Pablo's children are called - Paulo (died 1975), Maya, Claude and Paloma. The name 'Paloma' means 'dove.'
Pablo's work is divided into periods. The Blue Period (1901 - 1904), The Rose Period (1905 - 1907), The African Period (1908 - 1909), The Analytic Cubism Period (1909 - 1912), The Synthetic Cubism Period (1912 - 1919), The Classicism and Surrealism Period (1918 - 1936.)
The Blue Period. The colours Pablo used were mainly blue. Below is an example. (Portrait of Suzanne Bloch.)
The Rose Period. The colours used were mainly pink and orange. During this period, many of his paintings depict actors, clowns and circus characters. It was during the Rose Period that he painted his most highly-priced painting - Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe.) Below is an example of a Rose Period painting.
The African Period. (Also known as the Black Period.) It was inspired by African sculpture. The famous example below is called Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. (The young girls of Avignon.) It was completed in 1907.
The Analytic Cubism Period. Using brownish colours, objects are analysed first, to see individual shapes within them. The individual shapes are painted separately to create a whole object or scene. The example below is called The Guitarist (Le Guitariste.)
The Synthetic Cubism Period. This is a form of collage. Individual shapes are attached / stuck to the canvas to create one whole image. The example below is called The Italian Girl.
The Classical Period. During this period, Pablo Picasso produced more traditional works of art. Below is a Mother and Child.
The Surrealism Period. Picasso produced surprising and distorted interpretations. Below is A Woman With A Flower.
Pablo Picasso also created sculptures. One of his most famous sculptures is a fifty-foot high shape in Chicago. Nobody knows what the shape is intended to be. This sculpture is referred to as the Chicago Picasso. It was unveiled in 1967 and Pablo refused to be paid for it, preferring to make it a gift to the town of Chicago. (Below.)
Pablo Picasso died on 8 April, 1973, aged 91 years. He produced more works of art than any other artist. Following his death, many of his works were placed in a special museum in Paris called Le Musée Picasso. This museum is in the Marais area of Paris. (Below.)
There are two more museums dedicated to Pablo Picasso. One is in his birthplace, Málaga, and the other is in Barcelona where he lived for some of his youth.
He was laid to rest in the grounds of Château Vauvenargues - a lovely castle in the South of France that he had purchased in 1958.
(Photo by Jean-Marie Desbois. Wikimedia Commons.)
Below is the signature of Pablo Picasso.