Biography Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973

“I who have been involved with all styles of painting can assure you that the only things that fluctuate are the waves of fashion which carry the snobs and speculators; the number of true connoisseurs remains more or less the same.”
– Pablo Picasso

More than any other artist, Picasso’s name is synonymous with Modern Art .

During an artistic career spanning an astonishing 75 years, he created thousands of paintings, prints, sculptures and ceramics. For the general public, Picasso is the greatest art genius of the twentieth century, though some do not agree with this statement. Undisputed is the fact that he influenced and dominated the art of the twentieth century like no other.

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain, as the son of an academic art teacher. A brilliant student, Picasso passed the entrance examination for the Barcelona School of Fine Arts at the age of 14 in just one day and was allowed to skip the first two classes. According to one of many legends about the artist’s life, his father, recognizing the extraordinary talent of his son, gave him his brushes and palette, vowing never to paint again.

The Blue and Rose Period

During his lifetime, Picasso’s work evolved and shows several characteristic painting styles. The Blue Period, from about 1900 to 1904, is characterized by the use of different shades of blue emphasizing the grim life of his subjects – street people and beggars with thin, half-starved bodies. His painting style during these years is masterly and convinces even those who reject his later modern style. During his Rose Period from about 1905 to 1906, his palette moved to a more optimistic pink tone, in keeping with his subjects, who inhabit the colourful world of the circus.


After several trips to Paris, the artist took up permanent residence in the capital of art in 1904. There he met and socialised with the other artists who had moved there, like Henri Matisse, Joan Miro and Georges Braque. He became a great admirer of Henri Matisse and developed a life-long friendship with the master of French Fauvism.
Inspired by the works of Paul Cezanne, Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris developed one of the most revolutionary modern styles, known as Cubism. Inspired by new insights into the nature of reality in Physics, Cubism, re-arranges its subjects according to basic geometric shapes. In a later version of Cubism, called synthetic cubism, different perspectives or several views of an object or a person are shown simultaneously.