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Pablo Picasso

1881-1973

 

Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain, to artist and teacher Jose Ruiz Blasco, and his wife Maria Picasso.  A decade later, young Pablo Picasso learned how to paint from his father, who had been appointed teacher at the Da Guarda art school in La Coruna.  

Later, when his father was appointed teacher to the La Lonja academy in Barcelona, and just a year later, Pablo was admitted to the drawing class of the academy after having shown tremendous aptitude.

Pablo Picasso the n took a trip to France where he discovered the work of master artist Toulouse Lautrec, perhaps it was Lautrec's fascination with the female form, and with street walkers in particular that influenced Picasso to paint Les Demoiselles d'Avignon", the piece which brought on his first big break.  

1900 to 1907, saw Picasso's Blue and Rose Periods, and it was within this timeframe that the artist was fascinated by the dregs of society, he would focus on painting images of prostitutes,  the poor, the unfortunate, and the street urchins.

He was working very hard during this time, illustrating magazines, and having his work shown in galleris such as Berthe Weill's, in Paris.  It was also then that he met Guillaume Apollinaire, Leo and Gertrude Stein, and Henri Matisse, who was to become Picasso's long time friend.

Shortly after that, Picasso started the Cubist movement with fellow artists Georges Braque and Joan Miro.  Cubism is best defined as the exact reproduction of an image as seen from different angles simultaneously.  What made Picassos' cubist paintings is the amount of human emotion he would maintain within the multi-faceted figures.

Pablo Picasso had many women in his life, from Fernande Olivier, and Eva Gouel, to  Olga Koklova, a Russian ballerina whom he had met around the same time he met composer Igor Stravinsky.  Olga gave birth to a son, Paul; but Pablo left her shortly afterwards, and fathered a daughter, Maia, with Marie-Thérese Walter, who had also been his model, and was now his muse and mistress.  Marie-Thérèse was also the mother of  his son Claude, and  his daughter Paloma.

Other Important women in Picasso's life include Dora Maar, Francoise Gilot, Jacqueline Rocque, whom he married at the age of 80.

One of Picasso's least endearing traits was his treatment of women.  Perhaps the result of a life-long search for a soul mate, and his disillusionment at never being able to find a true friend. Picasso himself was quoted as saying: "I have had no true friends, only lovers."

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