April’s artist for #deadartistsociety is Pablo Picasso.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Malaga, Spain, to José Ruiz Blasco and Maria Ruiz Picasso. He was the oldest and only son. He had two younger sisters, Lola and Concepción.
One of Picasso’s most famous quotes is “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” But he also said “I never drew like a child. When I was 12, I drew like Raphael.”
Picasso showed a passion for drawing from a very early age. According to his mother his first word was pencil. By the age of 7, he was receiving formal art instruction from his dad, an artist himself.
In 1891, the Picasso family moved to La Coruña a on the Atlantic coast. Picasso’s father got a job teaching at the college in town. Pablo took his father’s classes and other courses on figure drawing and landscape painting.
In 1895, Picasso’s sister Conchita (Concepción) died of diphtheria at age 7. Picasso’s father switched jobs again and this time the family moved to Barcelona. Picasso thrived in the city and regarded Barcelona as his true home. His father arranged for him to take the entrance exam to get into the senior courses at the School of Fine Arts/La Lonja. Students usually took one month to complete it but Picasso finished in a week and was admitted at age 13. He began to exhibit and sell his work.
Picasso didn’t care for the rules and formalities at the School of Fine Arts so he skipped classes and roamed the streets of Barcelona instead, sketching the people and the scenes he observed.
In 1897, he went to Madrid to attend the Royal Academy of San Fernando (at age 16!) However, he again became frustrated with school, particularly with the focus classical subjects and techniques. Once again he skipped classes to paint gypsies, beggars, prostitutes, etc.
He again became frustrated with school, particularly with the focus classical subjects and techniques. Once again he skipped classes to paint gypsies, beggars, prostitutes, people he met in the streets, and self portraits.
In 1899, Picasso moved back to Barcelona to work as a graphic artist while continuing to paint and exhibit his work. He fell in with a crowd of artists and intellectuals at a café called El Quatre Gats ("The Four Cats"). Inspired by them, he began to make a break from the classical methods he was taught. He also dropped the Ruiz from his name and signed his work just Picasso, showing independence from his father who pushed him to work classically.
In 1901 Picasso’s old friend and Paris studiomate Carlos Casagemas committed suicide. Picasso wasn’t around, he had gone home to Spain for Christmas. When he returned to Paris later that year, he learned Carlos had shot himself in a cafe. That event (and probably the influence of El Greco and the Fauves, especially Matisse) marked the beginning of Picasso’s Blue Period.
Picasso’s blue period lasted from 1901-1904. It began with the death of his friend but things got even more “blue” when the magazine he was working for went under. He shared a studio with the writer Max Jacob. Picasso would paint all night while Jacob slept in their one bed. Jacob would write all day while Picasso slept.
I'm really enjoying this month already. I know so little about Picasso so that makes it even more fun. Here's a few photos of what I'm creating while I study. I ran across this Picasso quote that perfectly describes my work!