The life of the brilliant painter from Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973), considered the father of cubism with George Braque, is full of curiosities.
His paintings, recognized worldwide, are among the most valued in history. We are going to know some of those curious facts below.
His early works had a totally different style
Picasso’s early works had nothing to do with the Cubist style. In them he sought a more faithful representation of reality, using the perspective. He had several periods of experimentation, where he tried different techniques and was influenced by previous movements. An example of these periods is the blue Period (His paintings acquire this tonality, being a sad time in his life, one of the causes was the loss of his friend Casagemas), of impressionist influences.
After this period we talk about pink, when he moved to live in the bohemian Montmartre neighborhood in Paris and dedicated himself to painting celebrities, turning his paintings from a blue hue to more pastel pinks.
Left the art academy
Picasso, who spent his childhood in Barcelona, after moving to Madrid to start his studies at a renowned art academy, the Academia San Fernando, left them, by not fitting in with their modernist ideals.
He did his first show at a brewery
Els Quatre Gats was a very famous Barcelona brewery among modernist bohemians. It was there that Picasso held his first solo exhibition.
He made his first major academic canvas at the age of 15
From his earliest childhood Picasso painted, and never stopped, creating a large canvas at the age of 15, called The first communion.
I used to paint characters on the fringes of society
Picasso denounced through his paintings the situation of certain marginal figures of society, making them visible. It also highlights the representation of characters from the circus and entertainment.
They accused him of stealing the Mona Lisa
He was accused of stealing Leonardo de Vinci’s Mona Lisa from the Louvre, along with his friend Apollinaire. The two were exonerated, after knowing the identity of the real thief, a museum employee.
He created cubism out of competition with Matisse
Matisse was a professional threat to Picasso at the time, being recognized as the most innovative and one of the best painters. Influenced by Cézanne, and wanting to stand out against Matisse, I think The young ladies of Avignon, defying all the laws of the prevailing perspective of the time.
The young ladies of Avignon, first cubist painting
This painting represents five prostitutes from Avignon street in Barcelona, and not from the pretty town in southern France, as many believe. In it, Picasso paints them in a two-dimensional way, reduced to a series of triangles and rhombuses, with non-existent details. Until now, you wanted to faithfully reproduce reality through the use of perspective. Picasso breaks with it all showing us some cartoons represented from various points of view, all embodied in a single work. Thus, his facial features are a composite of various angles, as if we were seeing them in multiple profiles. The message in the painting denounces the situation of prostitutes.
George Braque joins Picasso’s point of view, bringing all the elements of his work to the fore, also challenging perspective and using geometric shapes. Cubism is born.
The development of photography (there were already faithful representations of reality, it was necessary to look for something more than a window in the painting) and psychoanalysis (looking for a deeper sense of reality), are key influences in Cubism, where, apart from to open ourselves to new perspectives, it is necessary to analyze the works to understand them (for this reason they were usually accompanied by explanatory text).
His paintings are among the most economically valued in history
The prices of Picasso’s paintings at auctions reach unsuspected limits, being one of the most expensive in the entire history of art.
And for you, what is the most curious thing about the life of this great artist?