Below is a brief Biography For Pablo Picasso – his birth in Spain, his life divided between Spain and France, his many romances plus off-spring, his death and a résumé of important dates and some of his significant works.
At the bottom of the page, you will also find a link supplying further information about the renowned Picasso blue period, which followed the death of his friend – Casagemas.
He was such a prodigious and varied artist that, unfortunately, I did not have the space to go into detail about all of his works in what is, basically, a fairly simple biography.
This multi-talented artist was born on 25 October 1881 in Málaga, Spain to José Ruiz y Blasco and María Picasso y López.
In his early years Picasso did, in fact, sign his name as Ruiz Blasco – after his father – but from about 1901 onwards, he switched to using his mother´s surname.
He was, perhaps, most remembered (along with Georges Braque) as the founder of cubism.
However, despite limited formal academic training, he had an extraordinary talent for almost any artistic endeavor, capable of working with oils, watercolors, pastels, charcoal, pencil, ink or any medium with equally impressive results.
When not working, he hated being alone and, during his long and artistically productive life, Picasso had a string of lovers, 4 children by 3 women and 2 wives.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the artist, still a struggling youth, began a long-term relationship with Fernande Olivier.
He eventually left Fernande for Marcelle Humbert, whom the painter called Eva.
When it was obvious that Eva was dying, he also left her.
In 1918, Picasso married Olga Koklowa, a ballerina with the Sergei Diaghilev´s troupe.
They had a son – Paulo – and it was Olga who introduced the painter to High Society. His Bohemian existence was left behind …
In 1927, the artist met the then underage (17) Marie Thérèse Walter and began a secret affair.
Picasso and Olga separated, although remained legally married until her death in 1955.
The long-standing affair with Marie resulted in a daughter – Maya.
Marie Thérèse was to eventually hang herself after Picasso´s death.
The photographer and painter, Dora Maar was also a constant companion and lover of Picasso.
After the Liberation of Paris in 1944, Pablo Picasso kept company with a young art student, Francoise Gilot and they had two children – Claude and Paloma.
Picasso in Old Age
Francoise was the only woman to leave the artist, and she did so in 1953 due to his abusive treatment and infidelities.
The painter then went through a difficult period coming to terms with his advancing years.
A number of ink drawings from the period explore this theme of the hideous old dwarf as buffoonish counterpart to the beautiful young girl.
Picasso´s next lover was Jacqueline Roque, and they remained together for the rest of the painter´s life, marrying in 1961.
In his 80s and 90s, the painter became increasingly reclusive and devoted his full energies to work – which became even more daring, colorful and expressive.
Between 1968-1971, he produced a torrent of paintings and hundreds of copperplate engravings.
Pablo Picasso died at Mougins, France on 8 April 1973.
Leaving no will, his death duties to the French state were paid in the form of his works – the core of a collection at the Musée Picasso in Paris.
Pablo Picasso’s Résumé
1881 – Born in Málaga on 25 October.
1896 – His first great oil painting: Primera Comunión (First Communion).
1900 – Regularly travels to Paris, where he shares a studio with his friend Casagemas and enjoys a Bohemian life-style.
1901 – Casagemas commits suicide in Paris. Pablo Picasso is deeply affected and this results in his famous Blue Period.
1904 – Establishes himself permanently in Paris at the Bateau-Lavoir and meets Fernande Olivier which brings an end to his Blue Period and the start of his Pink Period.
1907 – Meets Georges Braque and cubism is born.
1918 – Marries Olga Koklowa and is introduced to High Society.
1927 – Meets Marie-Thérèse Walter.
1937 – The Spanish Civil War inspires one of his most famous paintings – Guernica – following the German air attack on the town. Dora Maar replaces Marie-Thérèse.
1939 – Pablo Picasso´s mother dies in Barcelona.
1943 – Meets Francoise Gilot. Becomes interested in sculpting.
1946 – Moves to the South of France and starts with ceramics.
1953 – Francoise leaves him and is replaced by Jacqueline Roque.
1958 – Completes the UNESCO mural La Caída de Icaro (The Fall of Icarus).
1961 – Picasso and Jacqueline move to Notre-Dame-de-Vie. Paints more than 70 portraits of Jacqueline during this period as well as producing many other works.
1973 – Pablo Picasso dies on 8 April at 91 years of age.
Want information on the Picasso blue period? Check out the link a little further down the page …