Pablo Ruiz y Picasso
Picasso, Pablo Ruiz y (1881-1973), Spanish painter and sculptor, generally considered the greatest artist of the 20th century. One of the most prolific artists in history, he created more than 20,000 works.
Picasso was born in Malaga. He made three trips to Paris between 1900 and 1902, and his art was influenced by the postimpressionism of French painter Paul Gauguin, the symbolist painters called the Nabis, and French painters Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Picasso's Blue Room (1901, Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.) reflects the work of the two latter painters and shows his evolution toward his Blue Period, so called because various shades of blue dominated his work for the next few years.
Picasso settled in Paris in 1904 and soon met Fernande Olivier, the first of many companions to influence the theme, style, and mood of his work. During this time Picasso changed his palette to pinks and reds; thus this era of his work is called the Rose Period. In 1906 his work entered a new phase, marked by the influence of Greek, Iberian, and African art. The key work of this time is Les demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), with its surface resembling fractured glass. It was so radical in style that it was not even understood by contemporary avant-garde painters and critics.
Inspired by French postimpressionist artist Paul Cezanne, Picasso and French artist Georges Braque painted landscapes in 1908 in a style later described by a critic as being made of "little cubes," thus leading to the term cubism. Working together until 1911, Picasso and Braque attempted to break down and analyze form. Together they developed the first phase of cubism, known as analytic cubism. In 1912, with his first collage, Still Life with Chair Caning (Musee Picasso, Paris), Picasso made a transition to synthetic cubism, a more decorative, colorful form.
During World War I (1914-1918), Picasso went to Rome, working as a designer with Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. He met and married dancer Olga Koklova, with whom he had a son. In the 1920s Picasso created violent, convulsive portraits of women. These are often interpreted as indicating the tension of their marriage. In the early 1930s he became involved with Marie Therese Walter, who gave birth to their daughter Maia in 1935.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), German planes acting on orders from Spain's authoritarian leader Francisco Franco bombarded the Basque town of Guernica. Shortly afterward Picasso painted the huge Guernica (1937, Reina Sofia Art Center, Madrid, Spain), a mural often called the most important single work of the 20th century. With complex symbolism, Guernica makes an overwhelming impact in its portrayal of the horrors of war.
Picasso's palette grew somber with the onset of World War II (1939-1945), and numerous works from this period address death. He formed a liaison during the 1940s with painter Fran?oise Gilot, who bore two children, Claude and Paloma. In 1953 Picasso met Jacqueline Roque, and they married in 1961. He then spent much of his time in southern France. In his later years, Picasso continued painting and working in various media, creating lithographs, ceramic pieces, sculptures, and engravings.
This information was provided by Encarta encyclopedia.
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