The son of the painter Ruiz Blasco, Pablo Picasso moved with his family to Barcelona in 1985 and enrolled in the La Llotja Art School. Following an honorary mention in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts of 1897 for Ciencia y Caridad, he settled in Madrid, where he studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando.
On his return to Barcelona he came into contact with the circles of the Els Quatre Gats and his work could be classified along the lines of Catalan fin-de-siècle painting. He traveled to Paris for the first time with Carles Casagemas in 1900. His artistic output between 1901-1904 comprised part of what is known as his “blue period”, where marginalized characters depicted in cool tones are a recurring theme. His “rose period”, then followed on from this, which featured street artists painted in rose-colored tones.
During the next few years he worked on a simplification of form in his painting, which he attributed to his study of Cézanne, African sculpture, Roman painting and Iberian sculpture. In 1907 he painted Las señoritas de Aviñón (The Young Ladies of Avignon), a work which was seen as marking his definitive move towards cubism.
For several years Picasso investigated, together with Braque, this area that they had opened up with cubism. The beginning of analytical cubism, which emphasized the continuity between objects and space, was further defined during his stay in Horta de Ebro in 1909. In 1911, the beginnings of synthetic cubism and his forays into the three dimensional were marked by his inclusion of different fonts and collage<1 in his work. His first cubist sculpture hails from this period, the Cabeza de Fernande (Head of Fernande), and his first assemblage, Guitarra y chapa (Guitar) . In 1917 he visited Italy with Cocteau to work on the decor for Parade.
During the First World War he met the ballerina Olga Khokhlova, whom he would marry, and he created various set designs for Diaghilev‘s Ballets Russes. At that time he took part in the “return to order” which was dominating the European artistic scene. From 1924, during his stage involving surrealism, the theme of violence often featured in his work.
From this point onwards he made numerous sculptures in collaboration with Julio González. During the Civil War, in a commission to paint a work for the Spanish Republican Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, he created Guernica, for which he made several sketches.
When the Second World War came to an end, he joined the Communist Party, he began to make ceramics and began his drawings on the theme of the painter and his model. He lived with his last wife, Jacqueline Roque, in Cannes and later in Mougins. His reinterpretations of major works of art from the past belong to this period.
In his later years of fervent activity, his works represented, as a kind of epilogue, a reflection on artistic creation. In 1970 an exhibition was held in Avignon which exhibited this painter’s work three years prior to his death.
Noemi de Haro