Who Was Pablo Picasso?

A look at the life of Pablo Picasso, arguably the most famous artist of modern times.

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor and graphic artist. He was born in Malaga Spain. He was educated at art schools in La Coruna, Barcelona and Madrid. He had his first art exhibition in 1901. It was not a success, and he was criticized as an imitator of postimpressionists.

Picasso settled permanently in Paris in 1904. Picasso's works from 1906 to 1908 reveal the influence of primitive African sculpture, especially in the distortion of the figures and the mask like faces. Between 1917 and 1924 Picasso was associated with the Ballet Russe as a designer. He designed the costumes for Parade.

During the late 1920"s and early 1930"s Picasso's interest turned strongly to sculpture. His paintings from 1929 to 1933 attempt to create the illusion of three dimensional sculptured forms, highly abstract in character. He also experimented with sculpture in iron, clay and plaster. A catalog of all of his works was published in 1933.

During the Spanish Civil War Picasso became deeply concerned over the fate of Spain. He supported the republican cause and therefor was appointed director of the Prado Museum.

In 1944 Picasso joined the French Communist Party although the Communists had been highly critical of nonrealistic paintings. In 1947 he spent a great deal of time at Vallauris, France where he mastered the art of ceramics. In 1952 he painted for a chapel in Vallauris the monumental murals "War" and "Peace".

Picasso's works were the greatest single influence on the art of the 20th century. His drawings have a highly classic simplicity; clear, yet subtle. Picasso's versatile production represents a constant search for new forms in visual expression. Because of his originality and creative power, Picasso was the uncontested artistic leader of the 20th century.

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