Famous Spanish Artists  

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Worksheet

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 Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Crispiniano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso.
The last two names - Ruiz Picasso - were his surnames.  In Spain,  it is the tradition to have two surnames.  The first surname is your father's and the second surname is your mother's.  This means that Ruiz was from his father's family and Picasso was from his mother's side of the family.

Below is a picture of the building in Málaga where he was born and first lived.

Picasso''s birthplace
(Image from Wikimedia commons, birthplace of Picasso in Plaza de la Merced, Málaga.  Photographer: Manfred Werner.)

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.

Pablo had two younger sisters - Lola and Conchita.  Conchita died in childhood.

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.

Picasso''s first wife

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.

Picasso''s second wife

Pablo's children are called - Paulo (died 1975), Maya, Claude and Paloma.  The name 'Paloma' means 'dove.' 
Pablo Picasso loved to create images of doves.  It is a symbol of peace.  For that reason, many of Picasso's doves were used on posters and on items publicising the importance for the world to live in peace. 

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.)

Portrait by Picasso

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.

Rose period

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.

African period
(Source: Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Wikimedia Commons.)

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.

Classical style

The Surrealism Period.  Picasso produced surprising and distorted interpretations.  Below is A Woman With A Flower.

Surrealist style

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.)

Picasso sculpture
(Photo by J. Crocker.  Wikimedia Commons.)

Pablo Picasso made some very interesting comments during his lifetime.  Here are just a few of the things that he said:-
1.  "All children are artists.  The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up."
2.  "I paint objects as I think them.  Not as I see them."
3.  "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to paint like a child."
4.  "Painting is just another way of keeping a diary."

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.)

Picasso museum, Paris
(Photo by Beckstet.  Wikimedia Commons.)

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.

Picasso''s chateau and resting-place

(Photo by Jean-Marie Desbois.  Wikimedia Commons.)

Below is the signature of Pablo Picasso.


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