Pablo Picasso, born in Malaga, Spain on October 25, 1881 was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century. He died at the age of 91.
When he first started painting, he painted in a realistic manner. Over time he began to change his style by experimenting with different theories, techniques, and ideas.
Art critics and historians break Picasso’s career into specific periods, the first called his “Blue Period” lasted from 1901 to 1904. After the death of his close friend, Carlos Casagemas, Picasso became very lonely and depressed. During this time he painted scenes of poverty, isolation, and anguish, mainly in shades of blues and greens. His most famous paintings from the Blue Period include “Blue Nude,” “La Vie,” and “The Old Guitarist.”
Picasso’s depression had been replaced with a deep love for a beautiful model, Fernande Olivier. During this phase of his life he started painting with warmer colors like beiges, pinks, and reds. His works from 1904 to 1906 were referred to as the “Rose Period” because of the use of these colors. Picasso’s most famous paintings from this time include “Family at Saltimbanques,” “Gertrude Stein,” and “Two Nudes.”
In 1907, Pablo Picasso co-created Cubism with Georges Braques. This is when he created his most unique paintings ever. These paintings greatly affected art in the 20th century. Some of Picasso’s better known paintings from this time include “Les Demoiselles d’Avigon,” “Three Women,” “Bread and Fruit Dish on a Table,” and “Girl with Mandolin.”
The onset of World War I caused Picasso’s style to change once again. As he grew more serious he turned back to his realistic type of painting. His works from 1918 to 1927 were referred to as his “Classical Period.” His most important works from this period are “Three Women at the Spring,” “Two Women Running on the Beach/The Race,” and “The Pipes of Pan.”
Picasso is said to have created one of the most moving and powerful antiwar paintings of all time. This painting, “Guernica,” was painted in black, white, and grays and is a tribute to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. This time in history was when the cultural movement known as Surrealism took place.
A year before his death, Pablo Picasso created an autobiographical work using a pencil and crayon. This piece titled “Self Portrait Facing Death” is rather unusual in that it looks like something part human and part ape. The being in this painting has a green face and pink hair, but expression in his eyes shows a lifetime of wisdom, fear, and concern.
Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of the most renowned and significant painters of the 20th century. He remains known for continually reinventing himself by switching between styles so drastically that his works appear to be the product of many artists instead of just one.