Biography for Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)

Picasso was part of the School of Paris. A painter sculptor, etcher, lithographer, ceramist and designer, who has had enormous influence on 20th century art and worked in an unprecedented variety of styles. Born at Malaga, Spain, son of an art teacher. His family moved to Barcelona. A child prodigy who could draw before he could even talk and, incredibly and was accepted to the Barcelona School of Fine Arts in 1895,when he was only 13 years old.

Picasso then entered Madrid Academy 1897, exhibiting early signs of great precocity. First visiting Paris in autumn 1900, returning in 1901 when he had his first Paris one-man exhibition at the Galerie Vollard, around the time of his Blue Period.

Settling in Paris in 1904 and 1905 he painted some pictures of circus folk and embarked on his Rose Period. 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon'. 1906-7 marked the beginning of a more revolutionary manner, influenced by Cezanne .

He met Braque in 1907 and with his collaboration created Cubism. He subsequently designed sets and costumes for Parade and other Diaghilev ballets 1917-24. This was followed by his neo-classic figure paintings 1920-4, parallel to later Cubism. Soon after he started to make more violently expressive and metamorphic works, and in the following years frequently exhibiting with the Surrealists.

Picasso's ability to produce works in an astonishing range of styles made him well respected during his own lifetime and makes his work appealing to the broadest of audiences.

When Picasso died at age 91 in April 1973, he had become one of the most famous and successful artists in history, and he has earned the title of genius many times over.

As prolific a lover as he was an artist, Picasso allegedly began visiting brothels at the age of thirteen, had two wives, six mistresses and countless lovers, many of whom were the muses featured in his masterpieces. His relationships were complicated, often duplicitous, and frequently ended in heartache. But his passion for each of them is clear from his work, ranging from images of tangible tenderness to females pulled apart and re-assembled on canvas like a child playing with modelling clay. Pablo’s subject matter wasn’t restricted to women though, he would paint almost anything if it suited his mood, but, just as it was outside of the art studio, his favourite theme throughout his life was women.