Picasso: A Biography
Picasso: Man and Art
Considered to be the most famous artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso’s life, imitated his art, in almost every way. From his upbringing in Malaga Spain, all the way to his death in France at the age of 92, Picasso lived a life that was full and complicated. Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881. The son of a painter, Pablo’s early life was the initial formation of one of the greatest artists that ever lived. Pablo’s childhood and youth were spent being taught by his artistic father Don Jose Blasco, in art and life.
School of Fine Arts
Picasso enrolled in the School of Fine Arts in 1894, and this initiated his formal education into the world of fine art. Picasso’s father had drilled into the young man, the importance of a formal education way before Pablo enrolled into any school of higher-learning in art. Pablo also excelled at the School of Fine Arts in the Capital province of La Coruna, and lived there for the next four years, as well. Two years after enrolling in school, Picasso’s father recognized that his son had an amazing and very rare talent.
Don Jose Hands over Palate and Brush
A pivotal point in Pablo’s early education in the world of art, occurred on a day when Pablo’s father handed him his brush and palate and stated that he would never paint again as there was no need to have two great artists, in the family. Pablo would be forever moved by the show of affection and turnover of the reigns, and would later state that many of his paintings were influenced by that personal experience.
Picasso Excels at School
After graduating from the School of Fine Art in La Coruna, Pablo went along with the family to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, where his father was employed as a professor. As a freshmen entering this institution of higher learning, Pablo so impressed his instructors, that they would say his work was better than most of the departing seniors of the school. Those accolades not only filled the young artist with pride and a sense of being special, it also feed the passion and the longing to only create pieces that spoke from within Picasso’s soul.
‘First Communion’ and ‘Science and Charity’
In the fall of 1896, Pablo Picasso put brush to canvass for the very first time, with his fantastically-created, ‘First Communion’ that initiated and introduced young Pablo Picasso to the public and academic painting. ‘First Communion’ and ‘Science and Charity’ received honorable mention in the National Exhibition of Fine Art in the City of Madrid Spain. ‘First Communion’ although his first academic oil painting of his career, paled in comparison, to the accolades and the general favor, which ‘Science and Charity’ received. ‘Science and Charity’ did so well that it was awarded a gold medal in a competition in Pablo’s hometown of Malaga Spain.
Spurred on and encouraged by this wonderful achievement, Pablo’s uncle sent money so that his nephew could study further in the Capital City of Madrid.
City of Madrid Alters Picasso
As usual, Pablo passed the entrance examination, and was accepted into the Royal Academy of San Bernardino, right in the heart of the City of Madrid. With so much going on in the hustle and bustle of the Spanish version of New York, Madrid, this city allowed Picasso to spend more at the Prado instead of the Royal Academy. Something had altered in Picasso, and that something was tremendous to the world of art. By the winter of the year 1897, Pablo abandoned his studies at Royal Academy and started to lean toward his passion.
Scarlett Fever Almost Steals Away the Finest Artist from World
The first ‘near tragedy’ that affected Pablo was his contraction of scarlet fever in the summer of 1898 in Madrid. Pablo was sent to recover by his family to the mountain village of Horta de Ebro. He did recover and then went back to what he loved, painting and rummaging around France and Spain.
Pablo Finds Inspiration Direction at ‘Four Cats’
While in Barcelona, Pablo gained a penchant for hanging out at a local café, called the 'Four Cats'. This is where artists and academic intellectuals, collected to chat. This is where Pablo also made his most lifelong association, and one in particular, would shape much of the art that he would create. This is where Picasso would meet the young painter Casagemas, who would later become his most adored lifelong-companion. With Casagemas as his loyal travelling companion, Picasso was then free to roam and roam he did. With Madrid boring him to tears, Picasso and Casagemas set off for Paris.
Parisian Experience for Picasso
While in Paris, an art dealer, Pedro Manache, offered Picasso his very first contract, for150 francs per month, in exchange for all the oil paintings and pictures Pablo could produce for the dealer. The very first picture that Pablo created in Paris was ‘Le Moulin de la Gallette’.
From Paris to Madrid
After the Parisian experience was all spent-out, Pablo departed for Barcelona, and made a stop in Malaga to see his family. After catching up in Malaga Spain and yet another goodbye, Pablo went back to the city of Madrid, where he became co-editor of the magazine referred to as Arte Jovan. Once again the travel-bug got the best of him and for better or worse, Picasso headed back to Paris in early 1901. This passion for traveling and general restlessness dictated and benefited Pablo Picasso’s long life, and was a great benefit to this great artist and his work. By physically seeing and experiencing so many cultures in Europe as a young man, Picasso also could then easily translate his perception of that location, to the canvases.
Death of Casagemas
The first real-tragedy that occurred with Pablo was the loss of his dear friend, Casagemas. After losing the love of a woman, Casagemas shot himself in a Parisian café. The death of Casagemas, was a tremendous blow to Picasso and through his mourning, Pablo eulogized his best friend and companion, in true works of art. The first painting was the ‘Death of Casagemas, followed by the ‘Death of Casagemas’, in his blue period, and finally, the ‘Evocation- The Burial of Casagemas’. Picasso would say that the death of his dear friend, Casagemas, gave him the feelings to start the very first period phase of his life, the blue period.
Picasso’s works in predominantly blue and green, was for the sadness and despair that the color blue dictates, to Picasso. Many of the most beloved works of Picasso come from this tragically-inspired period in his life. Pain-stricken from restlessness and loneliness after the death of Casagemas, Picasso started travelling between Paris and Barcelona, and in between traveling time, with painting, once again, only in blue and green, many works of art was presented to the world. In 1904, Picasso finally settled in Paris, in a studio apartment called Bateau-Lavoir.
This is where he met Fernandez Olivier; a beautiful model would later become his mistress, for the next seven beautiful years. In 1905, Picasso started his journey into more active, lively works, and added in circus performers, harlequins and guitar players. Picasso also painted the widely successful, ‘Woman with a Crow’ which was in homage to a clients daughter.
By the end of 1905, Pablo was still very active in his blue period but was leaning towards adding more colors to his palette, much to the delight of many of his loyal and ardent followers. The rose period began and with this new journey into brilliant color and creativity, Picasso by 1906, was famous enough that anything he painted was instantly adored and purchased. The rose period began Picasso’s path to super-stardom, forever. The rose period would be one of the most awe-inspiring periods of Picasso’s life, but would not be the most-recalled or spoken. That was reserved for the cubism period
Cubism: Final Act
1907 was the year that Picasso started his path into cubism; the art world would be altered forever with the geometric brilliance and creativity of Picasso. From 1907 to 1917 Pablo only painted in the geometric forms of Cubism, and although not totally understood, even by Pablo Picasso, those were some of the most beloved and recalled of Picasso’s work.
Two World Wars Effect Pablo Picasso
The world was torn apart by not one but two world wars that affected Picasso’s life and work throughout the rest of his existence. Pablo despised wars and death, and voiced his opinion in the works that he would create.
Fame and Death
With so many admirers and with being so famous, Pablo Picasso’s dream studio, La Californie, became so overwhelmed with visitors and people trying to get a glimpse of the great painter at work, that he was forced to relocate. On April 8, 1973 at age 92, Pablo Picasso passed away, and is buried on the grounds of his beloved last home, Chateau Vauvenargues. Picasso definitely is the greatest artist we have ever experienced, and his influence is seen today in so much art and discussions, all created, by the master himself, Pablo Picasso.
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