Son of the painter José Ruiz Blasco, Pablo Picasso (Málaga, 1881 – Mougins, France, 1973) moved with his family to Barcelona in 1885 and enrolled at the Escola de la Llotja [Llotja School]. In 1900 he traveled to Paris with Carles Casagemas. The work he made around 1901-1904 was part of his Blue Period, where marginal characters depicted by means of cool tones were the recurring theme. In 1907 he painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon [The Young Women of Avignon], a key work on his path to Cubism.
He developed Analytical Cubism during his stay at Horta de Ebro in 1909. In 1917 he traveled to Italy, accompanied by Jean Cocteau, in order to design the set for the ballet Parade, with music by Erik Satie. During World War I he met the dancer Olga Khokhlova, who he married, and he created several set designs for Diaguilev’s Ballets Russes. He took part in the “return to order” figurative style dominating Europe’s artistic landscape. Starting in 1925, during a period in which he was in close contact with artists belonging to the Surrealist group, themes of violence featured in his work.
During the Spanish Civil War, he created the Guernica for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, following through on a commission he received from the Spanish Republican government. During his latter and fervently active years, his works, as a kind of epilogue, constituted a reflection on artistic creation.