1920's Painter, Sculptor, Print-maker,
Ceramicist, and Stage Designer
Pablo Picasso, whose full name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (Phew! That couldn't have been any more difficult to pronounce.), was born on October 25th, 1881, in Málaga, Spain. His mother was Doña Maria Picasso y Lopez, and his father was Don José Ruiz Blasco.
Picasso showed artistic talent even at a young age. Legend has it that his first word was "piz", which was his attempt at speaking the Spanish word for pencil, "lápiz". Picasso's father started teaching him to paint and draw when he was a young child, but by the time he was thirteen, his skills had passed his father's. Because he was so interested in art, he lost the desire to do well in school, so instead of doing his work he doodled in his notebook. Picasso was educated at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts when he moved to Barcelona, Spain, in 1895, and at the Royal Academy of San Fernando when he moved to Madrid, Spain, in 1897.
Picasso moved back to Barcelona in 1899 and was inspired by the rebel artists and intellectuals that he met at the Els Quatre Gats café. He broke away from the classical methods that his father had taught him and decided to experiment with his artwork. He started out with the Blue Period at the beginning of the 1900's after he had moved to Paris, France, because he was depressed and lonely because of his friend's death. Next came the Rose Period in 1905 after Picasso had defeated his depression and loneliness and when he had fallen in love with a French model. After the Rose Period came his Break into Cubism (the artistic style he and a friend pioneered), during which he created a painting unlike anything the world had every seen and greatly influenced the direction that 20th Century art took. Next came the Classical period, which occurred because of the beginning of the Great War (World War I), and the Surrealism period, which began in 1927 and was "the artistic manifestation of which was a product of his own Cubism." After these two periods was his later works, including "Self-Portrait Facing Death", and during this time he became extremely political, joined the Communist Party, and became an international celebrity and the world's most famous living artist.
Picasso received the International Lenin Peace Prize in 1950 and 1961. He had two wives and a professional/romantic relationship throughout his lifetime, and he also had four children. He died on April 8th, 1973, in Mourgins, France, but his legacy will always be remembered. His mother always said, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope." But Picasso always said, "Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."