Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
The Spanish artist known for being one of the most influential and prolific painters of his time. Even today Picasso’s work is seen as highly innovative, his work has propelled him to the state of modern day genius. Picasso worked with all kinds of mediums: paint, sculptor, etching, lithograph, ceramics and design. He created more than 20,000 pieces in his career which spanned a staggering 75 years. He pushed creativity to new limits and was influential in forming new movements of art, most notably Cubism. Few other artists have had the ability to master such a range of styles; he was a true innovator.
Born Pablo Ruiz on October 25th 1881 in Malaga, Spain to an art teacher father Jose Ruiz and Maria Picasso; he later dropped the common name Ruiz and adopted the more unusual name of his mother. From an early age Picasso was encouraged to paint and by the age of 14 was already known as something of a prodigy. He entered the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona in 1895 and later schooled at the Academy of San Fernando, Madrid in 1897.
Picasso moved to Paris in 1904 and started work on his ‘Blue’ and ‘Rose’ periods. In 1907 he was to meet Georges Braque; together they co-founded the Cubist movement. In 1917, Picasso took his first trip to Italy. There he began work in the Neoclassical style and in 1937 painted the masterpiece Guernica which represented the horror and torture of war. Towards the end of his career, Picasso returned his attention to the great classics, drawing influence from artists such as Goya, Velazquez and Manet. He passed away at the age of 91 on 8th April, 1973.