Malaga 1881 – 1973 Mougins
Born in Malaga in 1881, Pablo Picasso became a prominent figure amongst the avant-garde artistic life in Barcelona and made the first of his many visits to Paris in 1900. His early years are known as his ‘Blue Period’, owing to the dominant blue key used to portray the tragedy and misery of poor Parisian life. He settled in Paris in 1904, replacing the sad colours of his early years with a warmer palette consisting of fawns and pinks. During this ‘Rose Period’ he painted primarily actors, harlequins and scenes of circus life.
Influenced by his discovery of Primitive and African sculpture, Picasso’s art took a new direction. He finished Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907 and met Georges Braque soon after. By 1909, they were able to define ‘cubism’ as a style, and progressed from Analytical Cubism to Synthetic Cubism to collage.
During the First World War, Picasso spent much time in Italy and was involved with Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, for whom he designed stage sets and costumes. These years paved the way for his return to a more classical style, characterised by his series of monumental female nudes. Between 1925 and 1927 he was briefly connected with the Surrealist movement and in 1928 his first Minotaur subject appeared.
Picasso went to Spain in 1934 and painted many bull-fighting scenes. During the Spanish Civil War he sided with the Republicans and was appointed Director of the Prado for the Republican Government. His famous work Guernica, a response to the Spanish Civil War massacre, was painted for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937. He remained in Paris during the Second World War and joined the French Communist Party after the Liberation in 1944. Picasso moved to the Côte d’Azur in 1948 and devoted many of his latter years to lithography and ceramics.