Brief Picasso Bio

A brief biography . . .

I started painting in blue when I learned of Casagemas’ death. “

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malago, on the Mediterranean shores of Spain, close to Gibraltar. The midwife who assisted in the birth concluded that the extremely small baby had been stillborn and left him to attend to his mother. His uncle, a doctor, brought him to life. His parents called him Pablo Ruiz Picasso after the two of them, Jose Ruiz y Blaso and Maria Picasso y Lopez—though he later dropped his father’s name altogether and became simply Pablo Picasso. The time in Picasso’s young life between 1901 and 1904 is referred to as his “Blue Period”. His personal life was driven by poverty , austerity and uncertainty, which was reflected in his painting subjects—beggars, prostitutes and drunks. His close friend, Carlos Casagemas committed suicide in a Parisian café in early February, 1901. Picasso connected the death with his Blue Period, although the monochromatically-dominant blues only appeared in his work months later. Between 1904 and 1906, Picasso was in his so-called “Rose Period” where he abandoned his blues and moved to far softer and warmer colors—especially pink and beige. He was madly in love with Fernande Olivier, one of his beautiful models, and he was making money, thanks to art dealer, Ambroise Vollard. These things combined to snap him out of his Blue Period, although his subjects still appeared to be emotionless. The end of the Rose Period concluded his concentration on traditional figure painting. Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse first met in 1906. They continued a very close personal and professional friendship and collaboration until Matisse’s death in 1954. One’s work influenced the other, and they engaged in lifelong conversations. Twice their work was even exhibited together—1918 in Paris and 1945 in London—the last years of World War I and World War II, in capital cities embroiled in the wars. Their lives were inexorably linked then and their reputations still are to this day. With no clear start to the Cubist style, it is only possible to view the lead- in works as indicators of the future. Artforms morphed as artists experimented with new ways of expressing themselves. Art also changed as one artist was influenced by another’s style and interpretive skills. Picasso, prior to fully developing Cubism, experimented with an African style, which made masks out of faces. It is not a stretch to see how this interpretation quickly and easily led to Cubism. Cubism is a deconstruction of a subject, a reduction of its elements into their geometric form, and then a reconstruction taking into account multiple perspectives simultaneously.

Pablo Picasso

Blue Nude (1902)

Garçon à la Pipe (1905) When I haven't any blue, I use red. “

Pablo Picasso


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