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Picasso`sLife in Relationship to His Life and Picasso`s Art in Relationship tothe 20th Century

Researchby Buchholz indicated that Pablo Picasso was a very successful artistthat had a significant impact in the 20thcentury (2). Picasso was born in 1881 and started painting at anearly age under the influence of his father who was also a painter.According to (Roseand Bernard, 5), Picasso is an important figure, who has helped inshaping the historical and current art. Picasso was innovative andhis ideas and skills of art were not only original but outstanding,making him an influential artist of the 20thcentury. Apart from painting, Picasso explored diverse areas such asprintmaking, sculpturing and ceramics (Buchholz, 6). Moreover,Picasso was a charismatic person, who had several relationships withwomen. It is believed that Picasso’s behavior significantlyinfluenced his imagination and hence the ideas that he put down inart. I shall explore Picasso’s life in relationship to his life.The paper will also discuss Picasso’s art in relationship to the20thcentury.



Picassowas born in Malaga, Spain on 25thOctober 1881. His father Jose Ruiz Blasco, was an art teacher and itis believed that Pablo’s interest in art was derived from hisfather (Voorhies,par1).According to (Brunner, 12), Picasso’s mother alleged that is son’sinterests in painting developed even before he could pronounce hisfirst words.Picasso commenced formally learning art when he was 11 years old.While a teenager, he made several painting such as First Communion(1895), which exists up to date. His father who was a painter groomedthe young man into a great artist and tried all his best to give hisson the best education that he could afford. Now and then, Blascowould take his son to Madrid to view and study artwork to enhance hisskills. Some years later, Picasso and the family relocate toBarcelona where he continued pursuing art education.

Inhis early age, Picasso attended a school where is father became histeacher. According to (Voorhies,par2), Picasso was bright and quickly grasped ideas and concepts,outdoing even the pupils in upper grades at the institution. Despitebeing sponsored by a relative to pursue art training, Picasso did notgraduate owing to his restlessness, a trait that remained with himtill he died.However, Picasso continued with his profession and with time becamethe most influential painter of his time (Rose and Bernard, 11).

Teenage and Early TrainingPicasso maturedas a painter in Barcelona (Voorhies,par 4). He frequently visited places such as Els Quatre Gata, acoffee bar well known for being visited by famous artists fromvarious nations. From his exposure, he learnt various styles ofpainting and themes such as symbolism and expressionism. Hebefriended artists such as Edvard Munch, who greatly helped himenhance his painting skills. It was during this period that he metJaime Sabartes, who later become a loyal secretary to him (Brunner,12).Moreover, Picasso was introduced to a cultural avant-garde, in whichas a young artist, he gained more skills on how to express his ideasand opinions. In 1900,Picasso relocated to France where is argued that he was among thelow-class people in the society (Buchholz,13). Picasso stayed in France for three years, but made frequentvisits to Spain. Following the suicide o his best friend CarlosCasagemas in about the same time, Picasso entered into blue period,as it later was refereed by critics. During this blue period, theyoung artist painted using dull colours such as blue and green,depicting his dull mood having lost a close friend. Occasionally, hecould warm up his paintings with other brighter colors(Baldassari,and Philippe,28).


Picassoat adult age


In1904, Picasso had an encounter with a prominent lady artist by thename Fernande, who he fell in love with and became his mistress (Roseand Bernard, 14). Olivier was featured in many of Picasso’spaintings, which depicted the warm relationship between the two.Having been exposed to French paintings, Picasso sharpened andenhanced his artistic skills during this period. A year later,Picasso acquired two funs, who were American collectors and the twogreatly boosted his artworks’ popularity (Baldassari,and Philippe,31).Thiswas a joyful period in Picasso’s life, since he significantlyimproved his financial status and his social relations. Between 1904and 1906, Picasso embraced bright colors to express his happiness andsatisfaction with life.

Picassocontinued painting and in 1910, he started his early phase of thecubist movement (Martin,21). Two years later, Picasso and Juan Gris started introducing realmaterials such as chairs caning and wall paper into their work, astyle that later came to be known as collage (Voorhies,par 6). In 1913, Picasso’s father passed away in Barcelona and ayear later, the outbreak of the war separated Picasso with his friendJuan. In 1917, Picasso designed the costume for Diaghilevs ballet“Parade”, an occasion in which he met a dancer, Olga Kokholoven,who he married later. The early 1920s and the way forward marked animportant time for Picasso as he continued to become more efficientand productive. He continued to produce more paintings in cubist,classical and surreal modes such as the ones featuring his mother andchild. In 1937 April, after the world learned the shocking news ofthe bombing targeting Guernica, Picasso responded by painting one ofhis famous piece of work known as “Guernica”. Two years later,Picasso’s mother died in Barcelona and was buried next to hisfather. The 1950s marked the beginning of large retrospectiveexhibits of Picasso’s works.

Guernicaby Picasso


Lateryears and demise

Allthrough the 1950s and 1960s, Picasso laid more emphasis on making hismasterpieces more original and outstanding form other artists(Brunner, 23). Before his demise, Picasso mainly interacted andsocialized with his celebrity friends. In 1961, Picasso got marriedto Jacqueline Rogue. His final works were mainly based on portraitsunlike his earlier pieces. Critics have considered these final worksto be inferior and to his earlier work as a result of his old agewhich was negatively impacting on his accuracy and artistic skills.During this period also, Picasso created several ceramic and bronzesculptures. Picasso died in 1973 at his home located in the South ofFrance. According to (Voorhies,par 8), Picasso was a good artist whose work still influences many ofthe modern artists. One of the famous quotes by Picasso that becameevident from his life is “Goodartists do not copy but steal and make the work look better in alldimensions” – Pablo Picasso.

Picasso`sart in relationship to the 20th century

Picasso’sart career lasted over a period of seven decades and his work isargued to be the most influential in the 20thcentury (Roseand Bernard, 24). According to (Baldassari,and Philippe,37), Picassois known for the introduction of historical artistic approaches,which greatly influenced many artists of the 20thcentury. Over his career life, Picasso created over 20, 000paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and ceramics. Picasso’sartwork conveyed themes on various issues that affected the 20thcentury such as immorality and corrupt politics.

Notonly was Picasso’s work ahead of his time, but went on to influenceartist and painters of the 20thcentury (Voorhies,par9). Styles such as collage and cubism, which Picasso was one ofthe inventors, became common in the 20thcentury. One of the most important arts by Picasso was created in1907 and given the name Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. According to(Baldassari,and Philippe,33), although this piece of art was the most explored, it was notpublicized until 1916. Picasso’s friends argued that the picturewould evoke a lot of controversy because of its theme. However, thispainting, which is a good example of cubism style, has played asignificant role in influencing most artists of the 20thcentury(Martin, 32).

Picasso’smost vital Art- Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)


Itis important to point out that Picasso’s influence was not onlyfelt in the 20thcentury but most of his life. His works such as the Guernica inground-breaking Cubism changed the world and became a source ofinspiration that influenced most of the masterworks that wereproduced later in the 20thcentury (Martin, 37). Throughout his career development, Picasso hasproduced various pieces of work that have greatly impacted and servedas a good example for most artists in the 20thcentury. Even though the style of expressionism came to overtakecubism later in the 20thcentury, it is important to point out that Picasso played asignificant role in the emergence of expressionism and other modernstyles that evolved after his career life came to an end. In fact,some modern museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York upto date exhibits Picasso’s works, since they are known to attractpeople from various parts of the world (Buchholz,19). Even after his death, Picasso remains a pop icon and hisartistic works remains a fascination for many people in the modernsociety.


Fromthe paper, it is clear that Picasso’s interest in painting startedat an early age and was greatly influenced his father who was also apainter. There is no doubt that Picasso was an influential artistduring his time and still impacts significantly the modern art andart progress that occurred in the 20thcentury. Due to originality and use of outstanding styles, Picasso’sartwork became the most famous and influential in the contemporaryart featuring styles such as cubism, Neoclassicism, Surrealism andlater expressionism. Many artists in the 20thcentury emulated Picasso styles and acknowledged his artistic skillsand experience. It can be concluded that there had been no artistbefore Picasso who had such a significant impact in the world of art,and whose artwork is still exhibited in many of the modern museums.


Baldassari,Anne and Philippe Saunier. Picassoand His Collection.Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Art Gallery. 2008.

Brunner,Kathleen. Picasso: RewritingPicasso.London: Black Dog Publishing. 2004

Buchholz,ElkeLinda. PabloPicasso: Life and Work. Bonn, Germany: Könemann. 2005

Martin,Russell.Picasso’s War: the Destruction of Guernica, and the MasterpieceThat Changed the World.Boston, Massachusetts: EP Dutton. 2002.

Rose,Bernice B., and Bernard Ruiz Picasso, eds. Picasso:200 Masterworks from 1898 to 1972.Exhibition catalogue. Boston: Bullfinch Press, 2002.

Voorhies,James. “PabloPicasso(1881–1973).” In HeilbrunnTimeline of Art History.New York:The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. Retrieved from: 2004)