Pablo Ruiz Picasso has been, without a doubt, one of the most notable artists in contemporary history. Activist at the same time as an artist, his works show a deep reflective thought around the world that surrounded him.
Pablo endeavored to analyze reality in a unique way. Cubism, that stylistic current that he founded, was one of the greatest influences in twentieth-century painting. However, painting was not the only area in which Picasso developed his skills: ceramics, sculpture, theater, film, prints and set design for ballet are just some of the disciplines he experienced.
Picasso was a reference, an innovative artist, a genius of those who go down in history and who are hardly forgotten. In this article, we explore some interesting facts about his figure. Are you accompanying us to discover it?
First years of genius
The full name of the acclaimed painter was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de Santísima Trinidad Ruiz and Picasso. Although the artist always preferred to be called by his first name and his last name.
Born in Malaga on October 25, 1881, he was the eldest son of a family that was already dedicated to art. So his influence was early. Pablo’s father was a professor of drawing at the Provincial School of Arts and Crafts and was the one who taught Pablo his first drawing and painting techniques.
During his childhood, Pablo constantly moves from one city to another due to his father’s work. Pablo is a pretty lazy student when it comes to traditional subjects, but he is an avid apprentice in painting and drawing.
At age 17, he receives an honorable mention at the Great Exhibition of Madrid. From this moment, his life begins to be a succession of successes, awards and recognition. By that time, the Picasso family was already residing in the city of Barcelona, once again, as a result of his father’s work. Barcelona is the city that will define Picasso as one of the greatest characters of the s. XX.
Cubism and the vanguards
During his stay in Barcelona, Picasso met many of the young people who, later, would make up the avant-garde movements. For this moment, between 1898 and 1900, Pablo consolidates himself as a regionally famous artist. This is the time when he decides to start signing his paintings with only his maternal surname: Picasso.
A few years later, in 1904, Pablo moved to the French capital, a place where all the young artists of the time wanted to travel. Paris was the city in which they began to gestate the great artistic movements of s. XX.
Since the nineteenth century, Paris had become the object of desire of poets, writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, potters, critics and hedonists in general. A place where art was breathed, where the bourgeoisie intermingled in the nightlife with prostitutes and dancers. Paris had an interesting nightlife with the smell of opium and the taste of absinthe. Therefore, it is not surprising that it became an idealized and desired place by the artists of the moment. Paris was bohemian, as Puccini put it in his opera La Bohème.
It was such an impressive moment for art and literature, that several more recent artists have wanted to capture it and pay homage to it in their works. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is the perfect example of this immense gathering of influences.
During his stay in Paris, Picasso begins to develop the artistic style for which he will be remembered: Cubism. Under the influence of Paul Cézanne and accompanied by Braque and Apollinaire, Picasso begins to distort reality in a unique way. Cubism, in its beginnings, represented a form of abstraction of landscapes and natural forms.
Picasso lived an intense life of political activism at the same time that he developed his artistic life. He joined the communist party and remained a faithful defender of the republic and social rights. However, during the wars, Picasso rejected violence and decided not to fight on the front.
Pablo was for years an inveterate womanizer, a man of great passions. The Spanish artist lived his loves in a profound way. Among his great muses were Olga Khokhlova, Marie-Thérèse Walter, Dora Maar and, of course, his wife, Jacqueline Roque.
Importance of Pablo Picasso for the avant-garde art
Pablo Picasso is, perhaps, the most iconic artist of the s. XX, because it represents everything that an avant-garde artist should be. Picasso was an artist who constantly reinvented his work and his work, allowing himself to be influenced by the work of his contemporaries, but always being true to himself.
Pablo’s genius lies in his ability to maintain himself throughout his career in the pursuit of what is true in art. Like many avant-garde artists, Pablo always maintained that there was an innate quality of art. It was the duty of the genuine artist to seek this transcendental truth without surrendering.
For this reason, Picasso, as we pointed out at the beginning, never remained in a single artistic activity: he ventured into painting, sculpture, engraving, ceramics and some film projects. His passion was always painting, but his talent and genius led him to explore other forms of expression.
Pablo’s success can be measured in the art market. Even today, his works continue to be quoted at very high and exorbitant prices on the international scene. Most of his works are in private collections, and almost all his paintings maintain a high cost in the market.
Picasso is a character that has generated much curiosity in the public worldwide. For this reason, he has appeared represented multiple times in productions for television and cinema. For example, in the aforementioned Midnight in Paris, the father of Cubism is alluded to, although it is a minor character. With a greater prominence, it appears represented in the Genius series of National Geographic, where it is interpreted by the actor Antonio Banderas.