Pablo Picasso (1881 to 1973) was a Spanish artist who created more than 20,000 works. A child prodigy, Picasso's minimalist paintings and sculptures became the first in the cubist art movement of the early 20th century. Picasso had a reputation as a playboy, and produced work that reflected his moods.
Picasso's Unusual Name
Pablo Picasso may seem like a relatively simple, alliterative name, but the artist has no less than 23 baptismal names. Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso signed his art Ruiz Picasso until he was 17 and then began using his first name. Picasso was his mother's last name. His incredible list of names come from relatives and saints.
Blue and Rose
For the first few years of the 20th century, Picasso tended to paint scenes of human misery mainly in shades of blue. The years between 1900 and 1904 are considered his blue period. He was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin, Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec during this time. In 1904, Picasso started a relationship with Fernande Olivier that improved his mood and started the so-called rose period. His paintings from 1904 to 1905 were often in shades of red and pink, and most featured circus themes.
Picasso showed considerable promise as an artist from a young age. His father was also an artist and trained him until he was 13. Picasso excelled at art, but struggled with the rest of his education. He especially disliked following orders and spent a lot of time being disciplined. Picasso studied at several art schools, including the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, but got bored and left to start his career as an independent artist.
Theft of Mona Lisa
In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in France. Picasso's friend, Guillaume Apollinaire, was considered a suspect. Apollinaire, a poet, implicated Picasso. Both were held for questioning and released. Historians do not believe Picasso had any role in the theft.
Picasso and French artist Georges Braque came together in 1909 to create the artistic movement called cubism. The term was actually created by French art critic Louis Vauxcelles, who noticed both artists used many small cube shapes in their work. Picasso also created cubist sculpture. The process gave artists a way to break down and analyze shapes.