“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso was born on October 25th, 1881 in Malaga, Spain. He was baptized Catholic, but would later convert into being an Atheist. His father, a painter, specialized in painting birds and other animals. Pablo Picasso showed a passion for art at an early age. According to his mother, his first words were “piz piz”, an abbreviation for the spanish word “lapiz” which means “pencil”. Starting from the age of seven, Picasso started receiving artistic training from his father. In 1891, the family moved to A Coruña, a city in Galicia, Spain, where his father became a professor at the School of Fine Arts. Unfortunately, in 1895, Picasso lost his seven year old sister, Conchita to diphtheria. Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness and an infectious disease. Despite being traumatized by his sister’s death, he managed to make it into an advanced class at the school where his father taught. At the mere age of 13, he began his first oil paintings which were portraits of his family and the same year his sister died, he began to exhibit and sell his work. His father, Ruiz, persuaded the people at the academy he was working at, to allow Picasso to take an exam to be accepted in the advanced class. Where most kids would’ve taken nearly a month, Picasso only took a week to complete all the aspects of the exam and got admitted at age 15. Picasso spent most of his adult life in France and died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France. Pablo Picasso had three, different periods throughout his career. Picasso’s Blue Period, which began in 1901 and ended in 1904, was a collection of sad paintings that was done in shades of blue and blue green. Picasso’s Blue Period was influenced by a trip he took through Spain and by the suicide of his friend, Carlos Casagemas. After his Blue Period, then came his Rose Period which lasted for about two years (1904-1906). His Rose Period was a more uplifting period with cheery colors such as orange and pink and that featured circus people like acrobats. This period began when his psychological condition began to improve. The Rose Period has been considered influenced more by the French while the Blue Period is more Spanish influenced. The harlequin, a comedic character usually drawn with patterned or checkered clothing, became a personal symbol for Picasso. Picasso had an African Period as well which lasted from 1906 to
1909. “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” is a revolutionary work that introduced this period of cubism. He painted in such a style that was inspired by African sculpture and artifacts. Analytic cubism is a style of painting that Picasso developed with Georges Braque using brown and neutral colors. During this period of cubism, both artists took apart objects and drew them in terms of their shapes. Picasso’s most celebrated work is his depiction of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. This piece of work, which was done in 1937, displays the harshness and reality of war and how it affects those who are innocent. Picasso is normally identified as an artist who “re-invented” art. While many artists normally painted just one side of an object or person, Picasso realized that different perspectives still mattered and so, he drew them too. Picasso did a lot of artwork during his notorious career. Two of my favorite pieces of artwork by him are Jacqueline and the Old Guitarist. Jacqueline is the name of Picasso’s second wife. I think the artwork is beautiful and I feel like he did the painting out of love and dedicated it to his wife. I also love the Old Guitarist because I enjoy looking at the angle of the man and there’s so much meaning in the artwork. The piece of art shows poverty and loneliness. Pablo Picasso’s work doesn’t relate to my artwork at all. I’m not an artist or a drawer. I’ve never had a strong interest in art and I don’t think I’ll ever reach the level Pablo Picasso was at. But, just like Picasso, I have the ability to improve and develop my skills as I go. I chose Pablo Picasso as the topic of my research paper because I feel like he’s an artist that not many people know well and someone that’s more recent than Vincent van Gogh and Leonard da Vinci. I also chose Pablo Picasso because I felt like doing a research paper on a person would be much easier than doing a paper on an art movement or a piece of artwork.