Pablo Picasso Paintings
Pablo Ruiz Picasso is one of the best known artists of the twentieth century, gaining both renown and fortune for himself during his lifetime. Most people today recognize him simply by his maternal surname, “Picasso.” Picasso was a painter and sculptor hailing from Spain, but spent his most productive years in France where he is noted for co-founding the Cubist style of painting. Yet, Picasso did not work just in this style, but explored many, advancing them all with his creative takes on traditional subjects. Today, Picasso is known as an artistic revolutionary whose experimentation knew no bounds, and whose innovation in theory and technique still hold a certain power in the modern artistic mind.
Born the first son of a middle class family in the Andalusian region of Spain, Picasso inherited his artistic sensibilities from his father, who was also a painter. Picasso's father specialized in a style of painting very different from what Picasso would pursue in his lifetime, as his father focused mostly on landscapes and naturalistic paintings of birds and other animals. From a very early age, Picasso became engrossed in art, drawing everything he could with every spare moment he had. Picasso trained with his father, a very traditional teacher who oversaw Picasso's copying of classical paintings, and figure drawings from live models as well as plaster casts. It was during this time that Picasso realized that he would pursue art as a profession as he became impassioned with his artistic studies and fell behind in other classwork. At age 16, Picasso set off for the the Royal Academy of San Fernando, Spain's foremost art school. It was there that he discovered an affection for the work of El Greco that would persist throughout his life.
In 1900 Picasso first visited Paris, and within a few years made it his home base. He lived very humbly, sometimes in states of extreme poverty, burning his paintings to keep warm, some claim. Yet, within a few years he became a favorite artist of collectors Leo and Gerturde Stein, and from their, Picasso began to achieve fame. Picasso's art is expansive, exploring styles such as cubism, classicism and surrealism as well as created focused collections such as during his blue and rose periods. People were a favorite subject of Picasso's, and he depicted them in all moods and incarnations- from gaunt mothers and their children to aristocrats to members of the circus.
Picasso also boasts the title of co-founder of the cubist movement. Cubism is considered a variety of avant-garde art, shaped by influences from Africa, Micronesia and native cultures. The artists of this style were enamored with the simple shapes that were rendered powerful by color and movement in the works they discovered from these countries, and endeavored to incorporate them into their own European work. Cubism is also known for its disruptive, expressionistic element that nevertheless attempted to look at the world as detached from human perception. Though short lived, the cubist movement has resonated with artists since its inception and influenced many more schools of art. To view paintings that were influenced by many of Picasso's innovations, try perusing our Abstract Canvas gallery.