The Artist Pablo Picasso 1881- 1973

Pablo Ruiz Picasso, was born on 25th October 1881 in Málaga, Spain. Though baptised a Catholic, Picasso would later on become an atheist. His father was a painter who specialised in naturalistic depictions of birds and other game. For most of his life his father Ruiz was a professor of art at the School of Crafts and a curator of a local museum. Ruiz's ancestors were minor aristocrats. 

Picasso showed a passion and a skill for drawing from an early age. According to his mother, his first words were "piz, piz", a shortening of lápiz, the Spanish word for ‘pencil’. From the age of seven, Picasso received formal artistic training from his father in figure drawing and oil painting and became more preoccupied with art, much to the detriment of his classwork. 

The family moved to A Coruña in 1891, where his father became a professor at the School of Fine Arts. Once his father found his son painting over his unfinished sketch of a pigeon. Observing the precision of his son's technique, Ruiz felt that the thirteen-year- old Picasso had surpassed him, and vowed to give up painting. 

In 1895, Picasso was traumatised when his sister Conchita, aged 7, died of diphtheria. After her death, the family moved to Barcelona, where Ruiz took a position at its School of Fine Arts. Ruiz persuaded the officials at the academy to allow his son to take an entrance exam for the advanced class, and the jury admitted him, at just thirteen years old. 

Picasso's father and uncle decided to send the young artist now aged sixteen to Madrid's Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the country's foremost art school. He disliked the formal instruction and stopped attending classes soon after enrolment. 

Picasso made his first trip to Paris, the art capital of Europe, in 1900. There, he met his first Parisian friend, journalist and poet Max Jacob, who helped Picasso learn the language and its literature, and they shared an apartment together. These were times of severe poverty, cold, and desperation. Much of his work was burned to keep the small room warm. 

During the first five months of 1901, Picasso lived in Madrid, where he and his anarchist friend Francisco de Asís Soler founded the magazine Arte Joven (Young Art), which published five issues. Soler solicited articles and Picasso illustrated the journal, mostly contributing grim cartoons depicting and sympathising with the state of the poor. The first issue was published on 31st March 1901, by which time the artist had started to sign his work Picasso; before he had signed Pablo Ruiz y Picasso. 

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914 Picasso was living in Avignon. During the war Picasso was able to continue painting uninterrupted, unlike his French comrades. 

Throughout the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. After 1906, the Fauvist work of the slightly older artist Henri Matisse motivated Picasso to explore more radical styles, beginning a fruitful rivalry between the two artists, who subsequently were often paired by critics as the leaders of modern art. 

Picasso's work is often categorised into periods. While the names of many of his later periods are debated, the most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), also referred to as the Crystal period. 

During the Second World War, Picasso remained in Paris while the Germans occupied the city. His artistic style did not fit the Nazi ideal of art, so he did not exhibit during this time. He was often harassed by the Gestapo. 

Picasso was married twice and had four children by three women: 

Paulo (4th February 1921 - 5th June 1975) with Olga Khokhlova, Maya (5th September 1935) with Marie-Thérèse Walter, Claude (15th May 1947) and Paloma (19th April 1949) with Françoise Gilot