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Pablo Picasso

Spanish Draftsman, Painter, Printmaker, and Sculptor

Movements and Styles: Cubism, Symbolism, Surrealism

Born: October 25, 1881 - Malaga, Spain

Died: April 8, 1973 - Mougins, France

Pablo Picasso Timeline

"Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."

Pablo Picasso Signature

Summary of Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso was the most dominant and influential artist of the first half of the 20th century. Associated most of all with pioneering Cubism, alongside Georges Braque, he also invented collage and made major contributions to Symbolism and Surrealism. He saw himself above all as a painter, yet his sculpture was greatly influential, and he also explored areas as diverse as printmaking and ceramics. Finally, he was a famously charismatic personality; his many relationships with women not only filtered into his art but also may have directed its course, and his behavior has come to embody that of the bohemian modern artist in the popular imagination.

Key Ideas

It was a confluence of influences - from Paul Cézanne and Henri Rousseau, to archaic and tribal art - that encouraged Picasso to lend his figures more structure and ultimately set him on the path towards Cubism, in which he deconstructed the conventions of perspective that had dominated painting since the Renaissance. These innovations would have far-reaching consequences for practically all of modern art, revolutionizing attitudes to the depiction of form in space.
Picasso's immersion in Cubism also eventually led him to the invention of collage, in which he abandoned the idea of the picture as a window on objects in the world, and began to conceive of it merely as an arrangement of signs that used different, sometimes metaphorical means, to refer to those objects. This too would prove hugely influential for decades to come.
Picasso had an eclectic attitude to style, and although, at any one time, his work was usually characterized by a single dominant approach, he often moved interchangeably between different styles - sometimes even in the same artwork.
His encounter with Surrealism, although never transforming his work entirely, encouraged not only the soft forms and tender eroticism of portraits of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter, but also the starkly angular imagery of Guernica (1937), the century's most famous anti-war painting.
Picasso was always eager to place himself in history, and some of his greatest works, such as Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), refer to a wealth of past precedents - even while overturning them. As he matured he became only more conscious of assuring his legacy, and his late work is characterized by a frank dialogue with Old Masters such as Ingres, Velazquez, Goya, and Rembrandt.
Brigitte Bardot and Picasso during a visit to his studio at Vallauris, near Cannes, during the film festival of 1956.
Brigitte Bardot and Picasso during a visit to his studio at Vallauris, near Cannes, during the film festival of 1956.

"I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them." Said Picasso, and whether he was partnering with Braque on Cubism or spending time with the poets he admired, or the muses he loved and craved, he was finding new ways to see, and represent what he saw. His life is a virtual progression of modernism.

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Pablo Picasso
Interactive chart with Pablo Picasso's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
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Francisco GoyaFrancisco Goya
El GrecoEl Greco
Paul GauguinPaul Gauguin
Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Henri MatisseHenri Matisse

Personal Contacts

Guillaume ApollinaireGuillaume Apollinaire
Gertrude SteinGertrude Stein
Georges BraqueGeorges Braque
Daniel-Henry KahnweilerDaniel-Henry Kahnweiler
Ambroise VollardAmbroise Vollard


Art NouveauArt Nouveau
African ArtAfrican Art
Influences on Artist
Influences on Artist
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Years Worked: 1892 - 1973
Influenced by Artist
Influenced by Artist


Amedeo ModiglianiAmedeo Modigliani
Arshile GorkyArshile Gorky
Willem de KooningWillem de Kooning
Jasper JohnsJasper Johns

Personal Contacts

Alfred H. Barr, Jr.Alfred H. Barr, Jr.
Clement GreenbergClement Greenberg
Meyer SchapiroMeyer Schapiro
Robert RosenblumRobert Rosenblum
Leo SteinbergLeo Steinberg


Primitivism in ArtPrimitivism in Art
Abstract ArtAbstract Art
Pop ArtPop Art

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Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by The Art Story Contributors
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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First published on 22 Nov 2011. Updated and modified regularly. Information
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