Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish (1881-1973)
b. 1881, Málaga, Spain; d.
1973, Mougins, France
Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga,
Spain. The son of an academic painter, José Ruiz Blanco,
he began to draw at an early age. In 1895, the family moved
to Barcelona, and Picasso studied there at La Lonja, the academy
of fine arts. His visit to Horta de Ebro from 1898 to 1899
and his association with the group at the café Els Quatre
Gats about 1899 were crucial to his early artistic development.
In 1900, Picasso’s first exhibition took place in Barcelona,
and that fall he went to Paris for the first of several stays
during the early years of the century. Picasso settled in Paris
in April 1904, and soon his circle of friends included Guillaume
Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Gertrude and Leo Stein, as well as
two dealers, Ambroise Vollard and Berthe Weill.
His style developed from the Blue Period (1901–04) to
the Rose Period (1905) to the pivotal work Les Demoiselles
d’Avignon (1907), and the subsequent evolution of Cubism
from an Analytic phase (ca. 1908–11), through its Synthetic
phase (beginning in 1912–13). Picasso’s collaboration
on ballet and theatrical productions began in 1916. Soon thereafter,
his work was characterized by neoclassicism and a renewed interest
in drawing and figural representation. In the 1920s, the artist
and his wife, Olga (whom he had married in 1918), continued
to live in Paris, to travel frequently, and to spend their
summers at the beach. From 1925 into the 1930s, Picasso was
involved to a certain degree with the Surrealists, and from
the fall of 1931 he was especially interested in making sculpture.
In 1932, with large exhibitions at the Galeries Georges Petit,
Paris, and the Kunsthaus Zürich, and the publication of
the first volume of Christian Zervos’s catalogue raisonné,
Picasso’s fame increased markedly.
By 1936, the Spanish Civil War had profoundly affected Picasso,
the expression of which culminated in his painting Guernica
(1937, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid).
Picasso’s association with the Communist Party began
in 1944. From the late 1940s, he lived in the South of France.
Among the enormous number of Picasso exhibitions that were
held during the artist’s lifetime, those at the Museum
of Modern Art, New York, in 1939 and the Musée des Arts
Décoratifs, Paris, in 1955 were most significant. In
1961, the artist married Jacqueline Roque, and they moved to
Mougins. There Picasso continued his prolific work in painting,
drawing, prints, ceramics, and sculpture until his death April