A Brief History of Pablo Picasso

During his lifetime, Pablo Picasso was a painter, printmaker, sculptor, and theatre designer. Most of his adult life, he lived in France, where he created some of his most famous works, including Guernica and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Pablo Picasso

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

During the summer of 1907, Pablo Picasso began work on a new painting that would be known as Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. This was the artist’s first major work to be shown publicly during his lifetime. During the nine months that it took to complete, Picasso worked on hundreds of sketches and studies. He also changed the positioning of many figures.

The initial plan for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was to include two male characters. But, during the course of the painting, Picasso decided to eliminate these characters. He added two masks instead. These masks were based on African masks. He wanted to use them to challenge viewers’ assumptions about women.

Despite his intention, Picasso’s painting was very controversial. When it was exhibited, critics and friends alike were shocked by its overtly sexual content. Eventually, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is considered a milestone in the development of twentieth-century art.

In the late 1940s, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired a copy of the original painting. The painting is now a popular reference point for artists. Among the earliest examples of Cubism, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon signaled the arrival of this new style.

Although many believe that Picasso’s painting was a subversive statement about female sexuality, it is also possible that he was trying to express his personal views of women. As William Rubin, a leading Picasso scholar, has pointed out, the painting is also about fear.

In a reversal of tradition, Picasso made a series of preparatory sketches before completing his masterpiece. He worked on the image with styles inspired by African, Iberian, and Iberian-influenced sculpture. During the final stages of the painting, he changed the position of a crouching figure. He drew this figure from two different perspectives.


Among Pablo Picasso’s many artistic achievements, Guernica is perhaps his most famous piece. The painting, created in 1937, reflects the destruction of the Spanish Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

The piece is a visual representation of the calamitous bombing of Guernica, which was attacked by German and Italian warplanes. The attack was the first full-scale aerial bombardment. It also served as a frightening show of Germany’s military might. The image of Guernica was so striking that it changed how people perceived war.

Picasso was commissioned to paint the painting, which he did in less than two months. He began work on the preparatory sketches by reading an account of the bombing by George Steer. He was then inspired to make the subject of the piece the bombing of Guernica.

Picasso used a combination of styles, including Cubism and Surrealism, to create his work. The monochrome colors of the painting emphasise the weight of the event that is depicted.

The painting is considered by many art experts to be the most powerful anti-war artwork of all time. The painting captures the pain and suffering of modern warfare. The painting is currently displayed in the Museo Reina Sofa in Madrid.

In his early life, Picasso was a leftist who was devoted to the cause of social justice. He was a fan of American political cartoons. He had a personal interest in the tense politics of Spain.

The painting was originally meant to be a political statement. It was aimed at attacking Franco, the dictator who had led Spain to the brink of the Spanish Civil War. However, it was not accepted by the Spanish government and was subsequently returned to Picasso after the death of Franco.

Blue Period

During the Blue Period, Pablo Picasso made many paintings with the color blue. During this time, he was influenced by the death of his friend Carlos Casagemas. This suicide, which occurred in 1901, is thought to have led to the Blue Period.

The Blue Period is an important era in art history. It was a time when artists attempted to clear up the shortcomings of classism through their work. During this period, Picasso’s paintings emphasized the human complexity of the poor. The subjects he painted were often the weak, broken, and rejected members of society.

The Old Guitarist, a painting by Pablo Picasso, is considered the most iconic of the Blue Period. It depicts a thin, haggard man hunched over a large guitar. The canvas is painted in blue, which is considered the color of melancholy.

Another notable painting of this period is Celestina, a painting that displays the foxy thoughts of a woman. Her lips are simpering and her eyebrows are raised. The painting is characterized by an absence of setting, which emphasizes the expressiveness of the character.

The most important aspect of the painting is the enigmatic gesture in the middle of the composition. This gesture may have been a self-reflection by the painter. Most art enthusiasts agree on the significance of this gesture.

In addition, the painting is filled with a sense of morbid mystique. It is possible that the artist was thinking about the miseries that lay ahead.

The Blue Period began in Spain in the spring of 1901. The period was characterized by the dominance of the color blue and the depiction of people suffering from despair. The paintings also demonstrated a feeling of isolation.

Rose Period

During his Rose Period, Pablo Picasso produced some of his most famous works. His paintings during this period are marked with bright colours to represent happiness. His subjects often depicted circus performers. He also experimented with different mediums and techniques. His style became known as the Picasso style.

One of the most popular works from this period is “The Saltimbanques Family” (1904-6). In this painting, a group of circus performers are isolated in a desolate landscape. It is a remark on collective loneliness and alienation. A taller figure rests a supportive hand on the back of the younger boy. He is looking out towards the viewer.

Other significant works include Two Youths (1905-06), Woman in a Chemise (Madeleine) (1904-05), and Garcon a la pipe. These paintings reflect the artistic transition from the Blue Period to the Rose Period.

During this period, Picasso began to experiment with primitivism. He also painted the portraits of working people. His style became more linear in later paintings.

During the Rose Period, he visited the Catalan Pyrenees. He was inspired by the Iberian sculpture of ancient times. He also went to the small town of Gosol.

In 1904, he met Fernande Olivier. She became his mistress. The relationship helped him out of a depression. The two artists had an important influence on each other’s work.

During this period, Picasso also began to use an ocher and pearl gray colour palette. His paintings also reflected the new topics he was exploring. His portraits of circus performers were often of the group at rest.

His Rose Period works were a reflection of his relationship with Fernande Olivier. He was able to balance his commercial needs with his artistic interests.

Relationship with Francoise Gilot

Among the many enduring and well-known stories of Pablo Picasso is the one about his long-term relationship with his art student, Francoise Gilot. The story is not only a great example of a love affair, but it’s also a valuable insight into Picasso’s creativity and personality.

The story starts when Gilot was a 21-year-old art student in Paris. She met the artist, who was a few years older, at a dinner party. Several artists were there, including Dora Maar, who was featured in Picasso’s anti-war work Guernica.

Maar’s photography influenced many of Picasso’s works. For instance, Maar photographed him while they were in a relationship. The photograph was then used to illustrate an article in Le Figaro about their friendship.

The fact that Picasso was able to lure Gilot to his home is another interesting aspect of the story. Gilot had been rejected by a serious boyfriend. Eventually, she accepted Picasso’s offer to be his assistant.

It was a good move, but their relationship was not all sweetness and light. As Gilot became a mother, her desire for emotional connection diminished. She began to feel she could not tolerate the fundamental asymmetry between her and Picasso.

Gilot later wrote a memoir about her time with Picasso. She published it with American journalist Carlton Lake in 1964.

The book is an important piece of art history. It’s also a precursor to the #MeToo movement. In the introduction, Lisa Alther notes that 40 French intellectuals signed a manifesto asking for publication bans.

Picasso refused to tell the truth about his relationship with Francoise. Instead, he tried to push her away. As a result, she had to live with little autonomy. She was also psychologically abused.