PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)


The most influential painter of the 20th century

Spanish painter PABLO PICASSO was the son of an art teacher. He studied and worked in Barcelona and Madrid before moving to Paris in 1901. There he became part of a circle of writers and artists.



His romantic, melancholy ‘Blue Period’ (1901-1904) was followed by the lighter, poignant ‘Rose Period’ (1904-1906). Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) was a startling, iconoclastic piece, influenced by primitive art.

From 1909-1914 Picasso collaborated with George Braque, exploring cubism, in a series of pieces in which collage, wire, newspaper and string were used alongside paint.

Three Dancers

Three Dancers

From 1917-1924 he worked on designs from the Diaghilev ballets and moved into his ‘neoclassical period’. By 1925 he had developed a relationship with the Surrealists, which manifested itself in his use of distorted bodies, as in Three Dancers (1925).

A supporter of the Spanish Republic, from 1936- 1939 he was director of the Prado in Madrid. Guernica (1937), which many consider to be his masterpiece, was painted in protest against the bombing of a Basque village in the Civil War.



Moving to Antibes in the south of France in 1946, he began to paint murals and ceramics. He became active in peace congresses and was, for a time, a rather unconvincing Communist.

Without doubt the influential figure in modern art, he worked in many different media and styles and produced an enormous body of very varied work.


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